Bangor Bishops Palace

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop)

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameBangor Bishops Palace
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCaernarfonshire
Modern AuthorityGwynedd
1974 AuthorityGwynedd

The former palace of the Bishops of Bangor. Excavation to the east suggests that there has been a palace on this site since the thirteenth-fourteenth century if not earlier. The earliest part of the present building is a timber framed hall with solar and service range, dated to around 1500. (Coflein)

No trace of any medieval building which may have stood on the site survives. The earliest existing structure is that in the western 'L' of the main block, said to have been started by Bishop Dean (1494-1500), but the greater part was built by Bishop Skerington (1509-1533), as recorded in a former inscription over the porch door. (Gwynedd Archaeological Trust HER Ref.–RCAHMW)

Below the Cathedral; N side elevation to Deiniol Road and outbuildings to E.

Formerly the Bishop’s Palace. An L-plan structure of ca 1500 was doubled in size ca 1600 forming the present basically U-plan shape; mid C18 central cross range to N and major additions dated 1810 by Bishop Majendie. Some alterations in 1960 renovation. 2-storey and attic; cement render elevations with plinth, slate roofs and boarded eaves.

The interior retains openwell staircase hall dated 1753 to oval ceiling rose; turned balusters, Ionic newell posts, carved tread ends and panelled dado. Later cast iron supporting column with acanthus leaves and spiral tendrill. Council chamger (1st floor) has segmental vault with thinly detailed Adamesque plaster-work and Gothic ironwork ventilator. 2 trusses visible from Chief Executive’s Office, infilled with studded partition and 1 collar truss with arched branches; another is said to be of hammerbeam type.

The 6-window S front has asymmetrical projecting side ranges, formerly with polygonal end to left. The 2-stroey, jettied and gabled porch to left formerly opened on to the cross passage; segmental arched and pilastered entrance with double doors. The later part to the right is slightly advanced

Small pane sash windows, some paired or tripartite; small pane attic windows, 1 midway up the roof pitch. The left side has the twin gable end of the 1810 NW extension; 2 Gothic windows in former doorways and round headed small pane windows above. Similar glazing to 3-window N elevation, including French windows with freestone surrounds and central slate plaque reading: "Dominus Gulielimus Episcopus Aedificavit AD - 1810". Set back to left is a single storey flat roof range extending the remaining width of the building including porch below the 3-window central cross range; small pane sash windows, Gothic to ground floor. Similar details to E end with wide 2-window gable and tall chimney stack; attached service ranges. (Listed Building Report)

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic Wales CADW listed database record number
The National Monument Record (Coflein) number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSH580721
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses Vol. 2 (Cambridge) p. 643
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 59, 169
  • Smith, P. 1975, The Houses of the Welsh Countryside (HMSO) p. 425
  • RCAHMW, 1960, A Survey and Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Caernarvonshire Vol. 2 p. 9-10 no. 682 fig19
  • RCAHMW, 1960, A Survey and Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Caernarvonshire Vol. 2: Central (HMSO) p. 9-10 no. 682 fig. 19 online copy
  • Lewis, Samual, 1849, A Topographical Dictionary of Wales online copy


  • Smith, G.H., 2005, 'Archaeological Excavations at the Bishop's Palace, Bangor, 2003 and 2004' Archaeology in Wales Vol. 45
  • Johnstone, Neil, 2000, 'Excavations at the Bishop's Palace, Bangor' Archaeology in Wales Vol. 40


  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) Appendix B: List of Medieval Bishop's Palaces in England and Wales (available via [])