Peterborough Bishops Palace

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop/Other), and also as a Possible Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NamePeterborough Bishops Palace
Alternative NamesAbbey of Peterborough
Historic CountryNorthamptonshire and the Soke of Peterborough
Modern AuthorityPeterborough; City of
1974 AuthorityCambridgeshire
Civil ParishPeterborough

Originally the Abbot's House. Present building mainly Victorian Gothic, but features of various dates survive. 2 mid C13 undercrofts survive. The larger is of 2 naves divided by circular piers with moulded capitals. Smaller room also has rib vaulting, the east window being an original slit lancet, Stepped butress. Solar wing at right anglo to the Hall wing with 2 late perpendicular oriel windows facing north, 1 with the rebus of Abbot Kirkton, the room being known as Heaven's Gate Chamber. Triple shaft on a corbel late C12, is a survival of the Monk's kitchen. (Listed Building Report - Bishops Palace)

Mainly built circa 1220 by Robert of Lindsay. Square turrets project at quoins, having crenellated parapets. 3 storey height. Each of the 2 turrets has a trefoil headed niche containing a statue of an abbot and prior, one of which may represent Godfrey of Crowland. Centre is gabled, containing a statue of King Edward, seated, above windows of 4 and 8 lights, strings between storeys. Centre archway has 4 orders of colonnettes with moulded capitals. Inside tyre archway, the main chamber has blank arcading and quadripartite vaulting. The room above the entrance, known as the Knights' Chamber, was formerly decorated with pictures of the knights who met there. The windows have been altered in Jacobean style. (Listed Building Report - Bishop's Gate)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTL193984
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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  • Morewood, Caroline C., 1910, 'Introductory Chapter' in Rait, R.S. (ed), English Episcopal Palaces (Province of Canterbury) (London; Constable & Co) p. 44-7 online copy
  • Serjeantson, R.M., Ryland, W. and Adkins, D. (eds), 1906, VCH Northamptonshire Vol. 2 p. 83-95 online transcription [online copy >] < >p. 454-5 [online copy >] < >
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 249, 406 online copy



  • Musson, J., 2001/01/11, 'The Palace, Peterborough: The Residence of the Bishop of Peterborough' Country Life
  • Coulson, C., 1982, 'Hierarchism in Conventual Crenellation: An Essay in the Sociology and Metaphysics of Medieval Fortification' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 69-100 see online copy
  • Challands, A., 1972, 'Archaeology in Northamptonshire 1971' Bulletin of the Northamptonshire Federation of Archaeological Societies no. 7 p. 46 download from ArchLib

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1894, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1307-13) Vol. 1 p. 135 online copy