Chard Bishops Palace

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are no visible remains

NameChard Bishops Palace
Alternative Names
Historic CountrySomerset
Modern AuthoritySomerset
1974 AuthoritySomerset
Civil ParishChard Town

In 1066, the manor of Chard was held by the bishop of Wells. According to the royal Pipe Roll accounts covering the vacancy following the death of Bishop Robert of Lewes of Bath (1136-1166), a manor house belonging to the diocese was located in Chard. A warden was appointed during the vacancy with the task of managing the episcopal houses and in 1170-1, 45 shillings were spent on repairs at the bishop's houses at Chard and Wells. Bishop Jocelin's charter of 1234 that outlines the limits of the borough of Chard uses the "gate of our Court" as the southern marker for the town's boundary. This "Court" probably served as a base for the reeve, a post also created in 1234. Chard Manor Farm, to the south-west of the church, is perhaps on or near the site of this house. In 1305 and 1306, Bishop Walter Haselshaw dated documents at Chard. Bishop Drokensford dated two register documents at Chard, one in April 1316 and another that was not precisely dated. Ralph of Shrewsbury was there on the 25th and 26th of October 1334. None of the later bishops of Bath and Wells signed documents at Chard. Accommodation at Chard would have been a useful outpost for the bishop, as was one of the furthest manors from Wells. However, the small number of documents signed there suggests that the manor house was not used by the bishop for accommodation purposes. (Somerset HER–ref. Payne, 1999)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST322082
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  • Ramsey, F.M.R. (ed), 1995, English Episcopal Acta X, Bath and Wells 1061-1205 (Oxford: University Press) p. xxxvii n.


  • Green, E., 1883, 'On the History of Chard' Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society Vol. 28 Part 2 p. 28-78 online copy


  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) p. 155-6 (available via EThOS)
  • Payne, N., 1999, The residences of the medieval Bishops of Bath and Wells (unpubl MA dissertation, Bristol)