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Kingsbury Episcopi Bishops Palace

In the civil parish of Kingsbury Episcopi.
In the historic county of Somerset.
Modern Authority of Somerset.
1974 county of Somerset.
Medieval County of Somerset.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST436210
Latitude 50.98659° Longitude -2.80447°

Kingsbury Episcopi Bishops Palace has been described as a probable Palace.

There are uncertain remains.


Documentary evidence indicates that the bishops of Bath and Wells had a residence here from at least C13 to C14. Collinson notes a mid C15 reference to a "court house" which may indicate that the residence was still standing and used to house the manor court. The most likely site is close to the church where, on the N side, are two plots named in the 1844 tithe map as Higher and Lower "Court Leaze" but the building now known as Rodway Manor is possible (Payne, 1999).
Material from an evaluation trench excavated in 2005 was radiocarbon dated to the Saxon period (Graham). (Somerset HER)

The evidence for the existence of an episcopal residence at Kingsbury Episcopi comes mainly from the bishops' registers. Bishop Jocelin signed documents here in 1241 and 1245 and later in the thirteenth century, William of Bitton 1(1248-64) was in Kingsbury. In the early fourteenth century Walter Haselshaw (1302-08) signed two documents here. John Drokensford signed forty-one of the entries within his register at Kingsbury, of which 21 were precisely dated, showing a fairly even spread of dates between 1311-1328. Ralph of Shrewsbury was in Kingsbury in 1333, 1334, 1340, 1344, 1352 and 1353. The closeness of some of the dates suggests that the bishop was staying nearby. Ralph Erghum was at Kingsbury on 24th June 1396, but no further documents were signed there by any later bishop of Bath and Wells. Collinson quotes a mid- fifteenth century reference to a "court house" at Kingsbury° and it is possible that a building previously used for episcopal accommodation had subsequently remained the venue for the local manorial court. The 1844 tithe map suggests that the site of this building was immediately to the north of the church. Plots 118 and 119 are called "Higher Court Leaze" and "Lower Court Leaze" in the tithe apportionment, which could be indicative of a former manorial site. (Payne 2003)

Given map reference for parish church. The likely site for the manor house appears to now be occupied by an extension of the church yard and an orchard.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:30

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