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Manor House, Hall Garth (Archbishop's Palace), Otley
County: West Yorks
District: Leeds
Parish: Otley CP
Monument Number: ( 1412 )
The site was centre of Archbishop of York's estate in Wharfe valley from late Anglo-Saxon period and continued in importance into the 14th century. The present Manor House is an 18th-century house occupying a small part of the presumed site which is thought to have been located in the area between Manor Square and Clapgate on the south side and the River Wharfe on the north (SE 200456, 200457, 201456, 201457). Significant remains have been recorded but the layout and extent of the complex is not known. In the 18th century foundations were still visible and further remains were uncovered when the existing Clitheroe House was built c. 1784 (Baines 1822, 230 and Speight 1900 p38, 48-9) and further remains were seen when excavation occured during the development of the new school (Le Patourel and Wood 1973, p121). A trench was excavated in 1964 by the Otley Archaeological and Historical Society, A trial trench was dug in 1967 (Mayes) and a large area was excavated by Le Patourel in 1968-9 centred on NGR SE20084572 (PRN 15232). The 1968-9 excavations by Le Patourel found traces of pre- conquest structures not sufficiently substantial to represent more than outbuildings of a hall likely to have existed from an early date. This excavation was limited to the investigation of one range of a much larger building which extended south, possibly as far as Manor Square. Le Patourel's interpretation is that a free- standing apsidal chapel succeeded the timber buildings and was itself incorporated late in 12th century into a riverside range consisting of upper floor chapel and adjoining chamber - thought to form part of Archbishop's private apartments. The Chapel was modified in 13th century and site hardly used by archbishop after c.1320. Le Patourel's excavations led to the identification of a new form of Saxo-Norman Pottery known as Otley Ware. After the Dissolution at least some of the buildings of the manorial complex survived since they are known to have been leased out in 1672. This and subsequent leases refer to stables, outhouses and buildings, some next to the 'schoolhouse' which places them along side the old Grammar School facing Manor Square (Le Patourel and Wood 1973 p141). Post-medieval occupation was not on a large scale. The site as shown on modern 1:2500 O.S. is encroached on to the south and east but a large open area remains, reportedly with slight earthworks. This site is of sufficient importance to justify re-visiting to assess quality of earthworks with view to detailed drawn (and geophysical?) survey. Further details, including respones to more recent threats, in township files. Roman coins (PRN 2697) found on the site in 19th century. Field inspection by Moorhouse (1987) suggested that despite extensive landscaping, it is likely that little archaeological destruction has taken place (see detailed field report); the site must therefore be regarded as of continued importance and of high priority. According to Branse-Instone, E (EH Designation Archaeologist, 06/09/2004). The first documentary reference to the Archbishop staying at this residence in Otley occurs in 1226. The then Archbishop Walter Gray, granted Otley a fair and market, possibly also granting it borough status (which was certainly in existence by 1304). In addition he encouraged the building of a bridge across the River Wharfe. At this time Otley had a leper hospital (PRN 1259) (founded by Archbishop Thurstan between 1114 and 1140 and last mentioned in 1310). Otley was badly ravaged by the Scots in 1317-18 and was subsequently rarely visited by Archbishop despite repairs to the manor house in 1321 and 1334. Despite that it was still valued in 1340 at 20s, equal to the palace of York and of the archbishop's 11 Yorkshire residences, only exceeded by the value of the house at Ripon. The house was leased in the early 17th century, but was ruinous by the time of the English civil war (Branse-Instone, E., 06/09/2004). Part of the excavated structure is still exposed within public open space besides the river to the north of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Primary School. The rest of the excavated area, and probably the surroundings, appear to be beneath modern overburden. The area is still effectively as reported by Steve Moorhouse in 1987 and his assessment of likely survival beneath the school and its playing field is supported. A reasonable interpretation for the extent of the manorial enclosure is probably Bridge Street to the east, Clappergate to the south and the bank and ditch now beneath the school playing field to the west. This area includes the primary school, an NHS clinic, a Roman Catholic Church, the Grade II* listed 18th century manor house plus a number of other later buildings, some in domestic occupation. The police station adjacent to the bridge appears to be terraced into the hillside so may largely have lost its underlying archaeology (Branse-Instone, E., 06/09/2004).

HER Digital Photographs/Otley/PRN 1412 Archbishops Palace
Photograph, slide
1968-9. Archbishops Palace excavations
Otley Tithe Award and map, no.141
Dodds, J & Buck, R. (WYAAS). 2012. 'Manor House, Hall Garth (Archbishop's Palace), Otley' (stored digitally on WYAAS's M: Drive under Otley township)
S.A.Moorhouse 1987, Field visit report (SMR township files)
O.S. card SE24NW 11 and refs. cited thereon.
Branse-Instone, E., EH Designation Archaeologist, 06/09/2004, Alternative action report.
Branse-Instone, E., EH Designation Archaeologist, 25/08/2003, Site visit photographs
Le Patourel, H.E.J., and Wood, P., 1973. 'Excavation at the Archbishop of York's Manor House at Otley' in YAJ vol 45 pp115-141
Baines, E., 1822. 'History, Directory and Gazetteer of the County of York'
Speight, H., 1900. 'Upper Wharfedale'