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Norwich Bishops Palace

In the civil parish of Norwich.
In the historic county of Norfolk.
Modern Authority of Norfolk.
1974 county of Norfolk.
Medieval County of Norfolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TG23460896
Latitude 52.63243° Longitude 1.30080°

Norwich Bishops Palace has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a probable Masonry Castle, and also as a certain Palace.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Externally a mid C19 building, the palace was constructed initially in 1104-6 by Bishop Losinga. It consisted of a vaulted wing projecting from the north wall of the Cathedral and terminating in a miniature keep. Bishop Salmon, 1279-1325, added a vaulted Kitchen forming an L-shaped plan. Salmon built a crypt and Domestic Hall on the site of a late Norman ground floor hall. Salmon's State Hall to the north-east has disappeared except for the porch and his fine chapel windows which are re-used in Bishop Reynold's Chapel. The palace also contains a Norman barrel vault, a C14 vault in the kitchen, C15 priory prison and traces of the Medieval building in an upstairs room. Rebuilt in 1858-9 by E Ewan Christian it is externally a mid C19 structure, L-shaped, 3-storeyed, flint faced with a brick string course. (PastScape)

A Royal licence to crenellate may have been granted in 1327 (Click on the date for details of this supposed licence.).


Specified in the licence to crenellate possibly issued to the Bishop Ayermin in 1327, although the major building work was done by his predecessor Bishop Salmon. If this was an actual licence to crenellate and if any building work was done then presumably just decorative crenellations and the licence a large symbolic culmination of Salmon's building programme.
Norfolk SMR, referencing Gilchrist (2005), records a motte and small shell keep partly buried in later buildings and dates this to 1104-6 (the motte being earlier). Shapland (2012), from the same source, writes of a 'motte and residential stone tower constructed north of the nave of Norwich Cathedral immediately following the establishment of the see in 1096' comparable with Gundulf's Tower at Rochester. Shapland gives a plan which is certainly that of a rectangular building not a shell keep.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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