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Name:Bishop's Palace, Lyddington Bede House
HER Ref:MLE5485
Parish:Lyddington, Rutland
Grid Reference:SP 875 970
Map:Coming soon

Monument Types

  • BISHOPS PALACE (Early Medieval to Early Post-medieval - 1150 AD to 1600 AD)

Summary

There was a residence here by the mid-late C12th. By the C14th/C15th it was a favourite palace of the Bishops of Lincoln. The surviving range is probably C15th, remodelled c.1600 when it was turned into a 'bedehouse' (see MLE18049).

Additional Information

In 1983 excavation north-west of the Bedehouse revealed medieval stone buildings and ditches.

In 1989 a watching brief was undertaken.

In 1991 a geophysical survey was planned by the Ancient Monuments Lab.


<1> Liddle, P., 1983, A Guide to 20 Archaeological Sites in Leicestershire (Bibliographic reference). SLE2990.

The Bedehouse is a surviving fragment of an extensive palace complex of the Bishops of Lincoln. The estate was granted in 1085 and a manor house existed by the early C13th. In the C14th/C15th it was a favourite palace of the Bishops. The surviving range is believed to be C15th, remodelled after 1602 when Lord Cecil had it converted into a hospital ('bedehouse').


<2> Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, 1855-present, Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol 57 (1981-2), p1-16 (Journal). SLE6.

There is documentary evidence for a bishop's residence at Lyddington in 1209. Drainage works in 1976 and 1980 recorded a moat close to the present Bede House in the mid/late C12th. This excavation recorded an early hall lying to the north-west and at right angles to the existing Bede House range, with a hearth, as well as other buildings (Phase 1). The archaeological evidence also places the second great hall on the same site and alignment as the early hall, dating from the early/mid C14th (Phase 2). In the late C14th/early C15th various works appear to have taken place to upgrade the buildings (Phase 3). Alterations dating from the late C15th/early C16th are visible in the standing building (Phase 4). Following the dissolution, in the early C17th the building was converted into a 'bedehouse'.


<3> Hunt, A, 2004, An archaeological watching brief at Lyddington Bede House, Lyddington, Rutland (Unpublished document). SLE2243.

A watching brief undertaken in 2004 in connection with the replacement of underground electrical cabling revealed a number of features including part of a wall, a possible hearth and an earth closet. Medieval pottery and an C13th splash ware ridge tile were recovered along with post-medieval pottery and a possible Victorian bone handled brush.
Report is in ADS Library: doi:10.5284/1010228 - http://dx.doi.org/10.5284/1010228


<4> Walford, John, 2012, An archaeological watching brief at Lyddington Bede House, Lyddington, Rutland (Unpublished document). SLE4376.

A watching brief on a posthole for a new sign in 2012 recovered four fragments of sheep bone.
Report is in ADS Library: 10.5284/1027774- http://dx.doi.org/10.5284/1027774


<5> Elkin, Kathleen (ed), 2015, Medieval Leicestershire: Recent Research on the Medieval Archaeology of Leicestershire, p80, p83, "Medieval houses of SE Leicestershire and Rutland", Nick Hill (Bibliographic reference). SLE5149.

Excavated evidence shows a very large hall of c.1320-40, to which the surviving building acted as a chamber block (the chamber block is largely a creation of the C15th/early C16th).

Sources

<1>Bibliographic reference: Liddle, P.. 1983. A Guide to 20 Archaeological Sites in Leicestershire.
<2>Journal: Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society. 1855-present. Transactions of the Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society. Vol 57 (1981-2), p1-16.
<3>Unpublished document: Hunt, A. 2004. An archaeological watching brief at Lyddington Bede House, Lyddington, Rutland.
<4>Unpublished document: Walford, John. 2012. An archaeological watching brief at Lyddington Bede House, Lyddington, Rutland.
<5>Bibliographic reference: Elkin, Kathleen (ed). 2015. Medieval Leicestershire: Recent Research on the Medieval Archaeology of Leicestershire. p80, p83, "Medieval houses of SE Leicestershire and Rutland", Nick Hill.

Associated Finds

  • CARVING (Medieval - 1067 AD to 1539 AD)
  • SHERD (Medieval - 1067 AD to 1539 AD)
  • WINDOW GLASS (Medieval - 1067 AD to 1539 AD)
  • RIDGE TILE (Early Medieval - 1201 AD to 1300 AD)

Designations

  • Listed Building (I) 1264528: THE BEDE HOUSE
  • Scheduled Monument 1013825: LYDDINGTON BEDEHOUSE: A MEDIEVAL BISHOP'S PALACE AND POST-MEDIEVAL ALMSHOUSE WITH MOAT, GARDENS, FISHPONDS AND CULTIVATION REMAINS
  • Conservation Area: Lyddington

Images

1983 excavation of Bishops Palace  © Leicestershire County Council

1983 excavation of Bishops Palace © Leicestershire County Council

1983 excavation of Bishops Palace  © Leicestershire County Council

1983 excavation of Bishops Palace © Leicestershire County Council

1983 excavation of Bishops Palace  © Leicestershire County Council

1983 excavation of Bishops Palace © Leicestershire County Council

1983 excavation of Bishops Palace  © Leicestershire County Council

1983 excavation of Bishops Palace © Leicestershire County Council

Late C15-C16 stained glass  © Leicestershire County Council

Late C15-C16 stained glass © Leicestershire County Council