Wolsingham Manor of the Bishop of Durham

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop)

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameWolsingham Manor of the Bishop of Durham
Alternative NamesChapel Walls
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishWolsingham

Traces of a moat of a residential manor of the bishop of Durham with an attached deer park. A series of earthworks adjoining the main complex at the Bishop's Manor House.

WOLSINGHAM : CHAPEL WALLS. A rectangular enclosure about 220 feet north to south by 200 feet east to west, surrounded by a bank and ditch, with, in places, a low outer bank. The ground falls slightly on all sides except the north, and the bank is most prominent on the east. Along this side runs the main road from Wolsingham to Lanchester, having to the east of it a small stream following at this point the line of the road. The north end of the enclosure has been destroyed by gardens, and its former extent is shown on the plan by a broken line. In the south- west corner is a rectangular site which appears to mark the position of a building, and near it, in the south-west angle, is a well. (VCH)

It is not clear whether they are the outer enclosures of the Manor House, or house sites from the shrunken part of the village. The remains consist of a rectangular enclosure c.220ft x 200ft surrounded by a bank and ditch with, in places, an outer bank. The north end of the enclosure has been destroyed by probable landscaping to the north where the moated manor is believed to be located. 18th and 19th century antiquarians attribute the site to a failed monastic foundation begun by Henry Pudesy, the nephew of Bishop Pudesy a late 12th century Prince Bishop of Durham. (Keys to the Past)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ076376
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  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 51-4
  • Hildyard, E.J.W., 1947, Archaeology of Weardale: Third annual summary of research p. 9
  • Gould, Chalkley, 1905, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Durham Vol. 1 (London) p. 360 online copy
  • Fordyce, W., 1857, History and antiquities of the county palatine of Durham (Durham) Vol. 1 p. 632 online copy


  • Pearson, N.F., 1978, 'Wolsingham Excavations 1977' CBA Group 3 News Bulletin (ser2) Vol. 5 p. 6
  • Wooler, 1904, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (ser3) Vol. 1 p. 139


  • 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 EThOS)