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Salisbury Bishops Palace and Cathedral Close

In the civil parish of Salisbury.
In the historic county of Wiltshire.
Modern Authority of Wiltshire.
1974 county of Wiltshire.
Medieval County of Wiltshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU14392940
Latitude 51.06376° Longitude -1.79601°

Salisbury Bishops Palace and Cathedral Close has been described as a certain Palace.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Bishop's palace situated to the southeast of the Cathedral in The Close. It was established during the 1220s and crenallated during C14. The palace has undergone many phases of construction, alterations and repairs. It was restored during mid C15 and extended some time after 1568. A chapel is first documented in 1588. Parts of the palace were demolished post 1648, with the surviving elements being converted into an inn and tenements. However rebuilding took place during the 1660s with further additions taking place during later C17 and early C18. The palace was refurbished during late C18 with further additions constructed though out C19. Parts were demolished in 1931. Part of the palace was used by Bishop Wordsworth School in 1890. It has been used by the Cathedral School from 1947. (PastScape)

The bishop's place grew from his first residence called 'New Place' already established by 1219. (V.C.H. Wilts. iii. 165) The first simple building was added to and altered by succeeding bishops until it gained its present form of a series of irregular buildings running from east to west, the most striking feature being a late 15th- or early-16th-century tower with its decorated turret. A 15th-century bedchamber was converted into a chapel in the mid-16th century. (Braun 1958) Part of the original building survives in the vaulted undercroft known as Bishop Poore's Hall. This was restored by Bishop Wordsworth in 1889. (Wordsworth and Reeve 1891) During the Commonwealth the palace was let out by the corporation in tenements, one of which was kept as an inn by a Dutch tailor. After these depredations the house was completely restored by Bishop Seth Ward. The gardens were laid out and a lake formed in the mid-19th century, at which time the stables and an entrance lodge were added. In 1947 the Church Commissioners exchanged the palace with the dean and chapter for Mompesson House. The palace then became the premises of the Cathedral School, and the bishop moved his residence for a time to Mompesson House. (VCH 1962)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1327 Aug 31 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).
A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1337 Aug 30.
A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1377 July 20.


Close licensed in 1327 and palace licensed in 1337 and 1377.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

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