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Bishop Rufus Palace

Hob Uid: 53968
Location :
North Yorkshire
Hambleton
Northallerton
Grid Ref : SE3644093870
Summary : Site of motte and bailey castle and an adjacent fortified palace of the Bishops of Durham. The first record of the castle at Northallerton is in 1130 when Bishop Rufus built the motte and bailey as a residence. The castle was either rebuilt or enlarged in 1142 by Bishop Cumin and further work was carried out by Bishop Pudsey in 1174. By 1176 the castle had been razed to the ground on the orders of King Henry II. After this a more substantial fortified palace surrounded by a moat was built to replace the traditional motte and bailey castle. The palace was in use by 1199. Renovation work was carried out in 1226, 1292 and 1309. There is a reference in the early 14th century to a pele tower being built at the palace. The palace was an important centre for the administration of the bishops' lands in Yorkshire and served as a major residence for the bishops and their staff. The palace lay on the main road from York to Durham and was a regular stopping place for royalty and other dignitaries. Described by Leland in good condition circa 1535-43. It was a ruin by 1658. The site is now a cemetery.
More information : [SE 36549398] BISHOP'S PALACE [LB] (Site of). (1)

In the 14th c. the Bishop of Durham built a palace, protected with a moat and rampart, at Northallerton, out of the ruins of the Castle which had been dismantled temp Henry II. (2)

Apart from the moat, there are no remains of the Bishop's Palace, and the site is covered by a modern cemetery.

The 'dismantled castle' consists of a mutilated and partially levelled motte and bailey incorporated in the SW side of the moat.

The remains suggest, either that the motte had two baileys and that the palace was built within the larger, or, more probably, that the smaller bailey at SE 36449387 was the original bailey to the disused motte. (3)

An adulterine castle at Northallerton built by Bishop Hugh Pudsey in 1174 was surrendered, and dismantled in 1176. (This structure is referred to by Hoveden as the new castle, or 'castellum novum', which suggests that the Palace site is more probable than the earlier castle site at Castle Hills - SE 39 SE 1). The right to build a further castle was purchased by Pudsey from Richard I, probably in 1189 when he also bought the earldom of Northumberland, and it was apparently completed by 1195. Material from it is supposed to have been used in the erection of the episcopal palace or manor house on the same site, probably with the lowering and abandonment of the motte, which would produce a 'typical Medieval moated manor house'. In 1314 a peel was constructed within the Bishop's manor. Described by Leland (circa 1535-43) as "strong of building and well motid", it was a ruin in 1658 and stone from it was used for building in the town in 1663. The building had gone by 1791 and the site was laid out as a cemetery in 1856, the moat remaining. Renn mentions it as a motte and bailey with counterscarp bank. (4-8)

SE 365 940. Bishop Rufus' Palace. Scheduled No NY/480. (9)

Listed by Cathcart King (10).

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1957
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Early History of the North Riding, 1924 (W. Edwards)
Page(s) : 130
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 11
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Schedule revised 05-Jul-2002
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 DS 11-APR-67
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Hist & Topography of York NR 2 1859 (T Whellan)
Page(s) : 80-1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : The Yorkshire archaeological journal
Source details : (W M I'Anson)
Page(s) : 368-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 22 - 1913
Source Number : 6
Source : The Victoria history of the county of York, North Riding, volume one
Source details :
Page(s) : 418-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1914
Source Number : 7
Source : Norman castles in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 258
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1973
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Annals of Roger De Hoveden 1 1853 (H T Riley)
Page(s) : 383
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : County list of Scheduled Monuments : March 1994
Source details :
Page(s) : 15
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 522
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Feb-83

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Palace built C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built 1130.
Monument End Date : 1130
Monument Start Date : 1130
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt 1142
Monument End Date : 1142
Monument Start Date : 1142
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered 1174
Monument End Date : 1174
Monument Start Date : 1174
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Destroyed 1176
Monument End Date : 1176
Monument Start Date : 1176
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built C14
Monument End Date : 1399
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Pele Tower, Bishops Palace
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : In ruins
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1658
Monument Type : Bishops Palace
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : By 1967
Monument End Date : 1967
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Cemetery
Evidence : Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NY 480
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 34845
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SE 39 SE 7
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1444226
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SE 39 SE 7
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1967-04-11
End Date : 1967-04-11