Congresbury Bishop's Court

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are no visible remains

NameCongresbury Bishop's Court
Alternative Names
Historic CountrySomerset
Modern AuthorityNorth Somerset
1974 AuthorityAvon
Civil ParishCongresbury

There is some slight late C14 documentary evidence of bishop's residence at Congresbury when 'the Dean and Chapter consented to the demolition of "any houses or buildings within the bishop's manor of Congresbury, except the barn there, as unnecessary and superfluous, considering that the bishop has several neighbouring manors fully sufficient for his residence even if they were fewer." (Payne).

It is conceivable that the Dean and Chapter of Wells had acquired the barn in the late fourteenth century from the bishop of Bath and Wells. They had recently appropriated Congresbury church and perhaps had more use for the barn than the bishop, now that his manor house was being demolished. If the barn had once been in episcopal ownership, it would suggest that the bishops' manor house was to the south of the church, with the barn situated within grounds extending to the east. (Payne)

Gatehouse Comments

There is no evidence of the medieval bishops staying here and the need to preserve the barn suggests the manor was a revenue source only in the C14. This was the site of a Saxon Minster (traditionally also a C9 bishopric), so the bishop's manor may have been a relic of a Saxon residence, although occupation in the immediate post-Conquest period, when documentation is scarce, can not be excluded.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceST435636
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Primary Sources

  • 1874, First report of the royal commission on historical manuscripts (Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts 1) p. 241, 303


  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) p. 152-3 (available via EThOS)