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Rest Park, Sherburn in Elmet

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Reste; Manor Garth; Sherburn Palace

In the civil parish of Sherburn in Elmet.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of North Yorkshire.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire West Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: SE54253366
Latitude 53.79643° Longitude -1.17803°

Rest Park, Sherburn in Elmet has been described as a Masonry Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a certain Palace, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Manor Garth, Rest Park, near Sherburn, property of the Archbishops of York who were licenced in 1382 to build a fortlettum for defence of the manor. Rest Park was in use as a residence until the Reformation, being mentioned in a letter of 1500. The lands were sold in 1647, since then the 'Archiepiscopal Palace' has been destroyed (VCH; Wheater). "The site has now been entirely cleared and levelled, leaving no trace of the former extensive earthworks". (PastScape)

Excavation by Mrs. J. Le Patourel for M.P.B.W. on the site of the archbishop's manor house of Rest Park showed it to have had a life of under 200 years. The earliest buildings, erected about the middle of the 14th century, had stone foundations, were rather dispersed and had no moat. All save one were destroyed for the rebuilding which followed Alexander's licence to crenellate dated 13 November, 1383. The ensuing residence consisted of a main 'fortelet' or residential block, backed by an enclosed courtyard of half-timbered buildings, one of which, a reused part of the earlier building, was probably a chapel, since window mouldings and stained glass were found in the vicinity. The main block was 150 ft. by 36 ft. with walls 6 ft. thick and a tower at the S. end. There was probably a vaulted undercroft and the principal rooms were at first-floor level. The buildings were set within a double moat and traces of the bridge-pit were found. Remnants of a stone pier suggest the drawbridge may have been replaced by a fixed bridge. No evidence of outlying fortifications was found, nor was there any sign of defensive work save that provided by the dual moat and the character of the main building itself. The destruction-level was well marked and of uniform date; the pottery compares very closely with that from the Dissolution levels of local monasteries. The house is known to have been occupied in 1528, but after demolition the site was completely deserted and reverted to woodland. (Med. Arch., 1964)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1383 Nov 13 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).


Called courtyard castle by King, despite the buildings mainly being half-timbered and there being no corner towers. Now only visible as the slightest of crop marks on air photos.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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