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Beverley Manor of the Archbishop of York

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Beverlaco, Watertowns; The Dings; Bishop Dings; Hall Garth

In the civil parish of Beverley.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of East Riding of Yorkshire.
1974 county of Humberside.
Medieval County of Yorkshire East Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: TA03743911
Latitude 53.83799° Longitude -0.42485°

Beverley Manor of the Archbishop of York has been described as a probable Palace.

There are no visible remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Site of a moated residence of the Archbishops of York. It includes an irregular sub-rectangular moat surrounding a central island. The moat is visible on the northern, southern and eastern sides of the island, while the fourth, western, arm has been infilled. The southern and eastern arms have, in part, been redug as drainage ditches. The northern arm of the moat has been partially infilled and is now only a few centimetres deep. The western arm has been completely infilled and Long Lane, a metalled road, has been built over the top of it. The southern arm of the moat is also silted. The island has earthwork features across it. In 1948 limited excavations were carried out on the site to establish the location of buildings on the site. To the south of the inn at the north- eastern corner of the site, good quality ashlar-faced walls were found. Foundations of three other adjacent buildings were uncovered, including two halls aligned north-south and a further structure to the south thought to be the tower built by Robert Neville during the reign of Henry VI. In 1980 a rescue excavation was carried out on the eastern end of a wooden bridge abutment by the western moat. The timbers from which it was constructed have been dated to the years 1315-1330. The archiepiscopal manor was built before 1280, the date of the first documentary reference. During the early 14th century a timber bridge was built across the moat at the north-western corner of the site, including a possible drawbridge. During the 15th century, stone buildings were being built and enlarged on the site, and by 1444 the Archbishop's court was being held in the great hall of the manor, and his gaol was on the site. By the 1540's the site was in ruin and the stone was being removed, probably to build the Beverley Parks hunting lodge. In the post-medieval period the site continued to be the site of the manorial court and gaol of Beverley Watertowns, until a public house was built at the north-eastern corner of the site in the 19th century. This was demolished in 1958. (Scheduling Report)

The archbishop's base in Beverley was initially his hall in the market place. This stone building was known as the Dings or the Bishop Dings and was in existence by the 1160s. In 1282 the Dings was made over to the town by Archbishop Wickwane for an annual rent of 6s. 8d. By this date the archbishop had moved his Beverley residence to a moated site south of the minster, later known as Hall Garth. The archbishop's manor there was mentioned in 1280. In 1444 there was a reference to the archbishop's court being held in the great hall of the manor, and the archbishop's gaol was presumably also on the same site. Little is known about other buildings but surviving earthworks suggest that they may have been extensive. The archbishop's house there, or its predecessor in the market place, had a chapel, and in 1258 a chaplain was collated to the chapel of St. Swithin within the court of the archbishop at Beverley. An inventory of 1388 mentions only a hall and a kitchen. In 1980 excavation revealed the eastern abutment of a timber bridge, which spanned the moat near its north-western corner and may have supported lifting gear for a drawbridge; an early C14 date has been suggested. Work was under way on the manor in 1409-10, but by the 1530s the house had been abandoned and Leland described it as 'all in ruin'. (VCH)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:01

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