Ramsbury 'Castle'

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are no visible remains

NameRamsbury 'Castle'
Alternative NamesRemmesbury
Historic CountryWiltshire
Modern AuthorityWiltshire
1974 AuthorityWiltshire
Civil ParishRamsbury

In the early to mid 12th century the Bishops of Salisbury moved their Ramsbury residence to the well-documented site at Ramsbury Manor Park Prior to that time it is thought that the episcopal residence was located within the settlement, adjacent to the cathedral (Crowley 1983), although there is as yet no archaeological evidence to confirm this. A possible site for this component may lie to the west of the present churchyard, between the church and what is now Burdett Street. Burdett Street was known in the Medieval period as Castle Wall or Castle Street (ibid.), and in this context 'castle', rather than denoting a defensive stronghold, may be derived from the Latin castrum or Old English caester or ceaster, denoting an early political centre or seat of administrative power (Darvill, T.C. 1992. Monuments Protection Programme, Monument evaluation manual, part IV – urban areas, Vol. 2: urban area form descriptions (English Heritage, London)). This theory, based solely on place-name evidence, requires archaeological research to determine the true nature of the site. (Mcmahon p. 11)

If the bishops of Ramsbury had a house near their cathedral in the 11th century it may have been in the village rather than on the site 2 km. east on which the bishops of Salisbury had a palace. The medieval street names Castle Wall, afterwards Whitehouse Lane and Burdett Street, and Old Garden, later Old Orchard and Free Orchard, and the shape of the village, in which the church and vicarage house are within an ellipse, formed by High Street and Back Lane and crossed by Burdett Street, and most settlement is on the periphery, may be evidence of such a house. The names and the shape, however, could be attributed to factors other than the existence of a large house. (VCH 1983)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU273716
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

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.

Calculate Print


  • Crowley, D.A., 1983, 'Ramsbury Hundred' in Elrington, C.R. (ed) VCH Wiltshire Vol. 12 (Oxford University Press for the University of London Institute of Historical Research) p. 19-22 online transcription


  • Mcmahon, Phil, 2004, The Archaeology of Wiltshire's Towns An Extensive Urban Survey Ramsbury (Wiltshire County Archaeology Service) online copy
  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) p. 172-176 (available via EThOS)