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Darlington Bishops Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Old Hall; Hall Garth; Hallgarth

In the civil parish of Darlington.
In the historic county of Durham.
Modern Authority of Darlington.
1974 county of County Durham.
Medieval County of County Palatinate of Durham.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ29131435
Latitude 54.52361° Longitude -1.55144°

Darlington Bishops Palace has been described as a probable Palace.

There are no visible remains.


A house on this site once belonged to the Bishops of Durham and it was built in 1164. It became the town's poorhouse in 1806. It was a long, low building with windows dating from medieval to the 18th century. Much of it was demolished in 1828 and it was finally destroyed in 1870. The site has now been built over. (Keys to the Past)

The bishop's manor house at Darlington, is situate due south of the church. Passing through the court-yard, we come to a doorway on the north of the building, which has been pointed; indeed, the bounding label still remains. In a direct line with this is a neat little early English arch, the remnant of Pudsey's work, shut up in a sort of pantry. It was formerly the entrance of a long arched passage, leading to what is now a hen-house, supposed to have been a dungeon; though why, it would be somewhat difficult to find out. This passage is now completely removed, and the hen-house so modernized as to retain little that appertaineth to "hoare antiquitie" save the massive stone walls. To this I ought to add that the floor has been raised, and the arch somewhat curtailed of its fair proportions. To the right of the space between the outer doorway and the arch is a large room of later architecture, apparently a hall. It is lighted by small, square, oblong lights; and at the west end are two doorways, flat four-centered; one leading into a closet, the other into the modem part of the workhouse. The wall-plate of the roof –also late florid– remains above these arches, showing the moulding of the ribs, which appear to have divided the roof into a series of square panels. The exterior roofs of the whole ancient part of the building are of good pitch, and are plain oak, as the work- house-master informed me; but the exact plan of the mansion cannot now be ascertained. One high square chimney retains an early corbel table, formed of minute arches. To the left of the entrance, and opposite the hall before described, is "the chapel" (St James's). The whole of the exterior is roughcast. One may still see three Norman lights in the eastern gable (pointing out the date, 1160, as a probable one), and the sides had also small circular-headed lights of extremely deep splay. The chapel formerly opened out of the entrance passage by an enriched doorway, but the whole is now modernized. The foundation will be noticed in the Ecclesiastical Division. Up stairs, are the remains of what is termed " the anquetting room," which has had traceried windows, one now fbnning a doorway. There is also a plain early stone fireplace. In ancient times, we find the plot of ground on which the mansion stands called Hallgarth. The Manor Honse was bought by the township in 1806, for the purposes of a poor-house. It had been so used for some time before. A large pile of new buildings was erected to the south in 1808, the cost being partly deferred by the bequest of Mr. G. G. Phillips. (Longstaffe)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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