York Archbishops Palace

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop)

There are major building remains

NameYork Archbishops Palace
Alternative NamesMinster Library
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityYork
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishYork

The remains of the Archbishop's Palace, consisting of a late C12 arcade and a building known as the chapel, probably of early C13 date, and now used as the Minster Library. (PastScape)

The post-Conquest palace of Archbishop Thomas and his successors lay to the north of the Minster and comprised an open court surrounded by buildings. Its visible remains consist of six bays of a late twelfth century blind arcade, known as the 'Cloister', and an L-shaped block to the north which housed the thirteenth century chapel and is now the Minster Library. Documentary sources refer to an aisled medieval hall, a south-west range and a buttressed building to the south-east of the chapel. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the palace fell out of use and, by 1600, had become ruinous. In 1618 the site was leased to Sir Arthur Ingram who incorporated the south-west range into a mansion known as York Palace. Plans and surveys show the layout of the mansion but, by the eighteenth century, this too was in ruins and was demolished and the site cleared in 1814. (Scheduling Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Palace, built circa 1154-1181. It was the principal residence of the archbishop's until Walter de Gray bought Bishopthorpe in 1241. C15 archbishop's preferred to live, when in Yorkshire at Cawood Castle, or at their manor-houses.

- Philip Davis

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 ReferenceSE602522
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved

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  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 187
  • Pevsner, N., 1972, Buildings of England: Yorkshire: York and the East Riding (London, Penguin) p. 109
  • Tillott, P.M. (ed), 1961, VCH Yorkshire: City of York p. 340-1 online transcription
  • Niemeyer, N., 1911, 'Introductory Chapter' in Rait, R.S. (ed), English Episcopal Palaces (Province of York) (London; Constable & Co) p. 1-2 online copy


  • Butler, R.M., 1988, 'York Place, a vanished Jacobean mansion' York Historian Vol. 8 p. 25-41


  • 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)