The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Otley Archbishop Palace

In the civil parish of Otley.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of Leeds.
1974 county of West Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Liberty of Cawood, Wistow and Otley.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE20074567
Latitude 53.90678° Longitude -1.69506°

Otley Archbishop Palace has been described as a probable Palace.

There are no visible remains.


Episcopal palace of the Archbishops of York at Otley. Kitchens were added c. 1415 and it was occupied until 1606 Completely ruined by the time of the Civil War. It was moated. "The foundations remained until about 1780 when the existing manor-house, at the bottom of Kirkgate, was built on the site (Speight). The traditional and natural site of the espiscopal palace is the summit of the hill at SE 2007 4567. This position could also, be more easily reconciled with Speight's reference to the palace as a "moated mansion" (F1 RWE 28-FEB-61). The surface of the ground in this area is hummocky, though no building foundations are visible. The site is on a natural eminence. Possible remains of a moat comprise an unidentified, earthen bank to the west of the site, and the scarp of the entrance drive to the Manor House in the east. The bank extends from SE 2005 4558 to SE 2001 4564, and has an average height of 1.2m. Traces of the ditch are apparent on the western side. Approach to the palace was probably by a terraced way along the top of the river bank from the southern end of Otley Bridge (SE 2015 4581). The Manor House shows no evidence of reutilized material (F2 RL 04-JUL-63). The site of the old hall, Otley, was excavated by the Otley Archaeological and Historical Society. Remains of walling suggested that an early building, perhaps of 1300, had been demolished and replaced in the 15th century, perhaps by Archbishop Bowett (1406-1423) (Med. Arch, 1964). Excavation of the N wing of the archbishop's manor house by H E Jean Le Patourel for the Yorkshire Archaeological Society and M P B W revealed a first-floor hall with attached chamber, c.130ft by 24ft, mainly of the early 14th century. It had central timber roof supports and a turret stair. Below was a middle 12th century hall of similar dimensions but with large stone central roof supports. Hearths were found only in the chamber (Med. Arch., 1969). A stone built wing of the palace, 145ft x 28ft, had a chapel of three periods at its east end. The building shows Saxon and Norman characteristics which in the early 13th century developed into a chapel of two storeys with a vaulted undercroft. Later it reverted to a single-storey building. A new type of Saxo-Norman pottery, associated with an earlier timber structure, was identified and named Otley Ware (YAJ, 1970). (PastScape)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:09

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact