EYO4840 - Bishopthorpe Palace, Bishopthorpe, York: Archaeological Investigation

Type

WATCHING BRIEF

Location

Location Northeast of the village of Bishopthorpe
Grid reference SE 5969 4783 (point)
Map sheet SE54NE
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire
Civil Parish Bishopthorpe, City of York, North Yorkshire

Technique(s)

Organisation

Field Archaeology Specialists

Date

Not recorded.

Map

Description

An archaeological watching brief was carried out at Bishopthorpe Palace, York, by Field Archaeology Specialists (FAS) Ltd on behalf of W R Dunn. The work involved the archaeological monitoring of service trench excavations inside and outside the palace structures, and the maintenance of a structural watching brief on internal alterations. The below-ground watching brief encountered remains of medieval to modern date. Extensive layers of buried soil, interspersed with cobbled surfaces, were consistently found throughout much of the watching brief area. A single inhumation burial was encountered to the west of the palace, and was dated to the 14th-century or later. This burial lay to the west of a series of limestone walls which have been interpreted as medieval buildings, associated at one time with lead-working. The robbed-out foundations of two parallel walls were identified in the vicinity of the 18th-century gatehouse, and have been interpreted as evidence for a medieval gatehouse. Potential 17th- and 18th-century activity was represented within the palace, where a brick wall may represent part of an early form of the palace. Outside the west front, a further brick wall appears to represent part of the 18th-century phase of palace construction. In the wider area outside the palace, preparation layers that may have formed part of the wider landscaping of the 18th-century were defined, as well as the foundations of the current 18th-century gatehouse. To the south of the palace, 19th-century structural activity was attested by wall footings and a quarry tile floor, interpreted as part of the demolished bakehouse. Service trenches dated to 19th- to 21st-century were observed throughout the area. The structural watching brief established the presence of surviving in situ elements of the floor and roof structures within the north range of the palace. Dendrochronological dating of these elements provided a date of c.1502/3 indicating that the north wing must have been under construction or nearing completion at this time. This would suggest that rather than the work of Archbishop Rotherham between 1480 and 1500 as has been previously suggested (Ryder 1982; Gee 1983; and FAS 2006), the north wing was erected by Archbishop Thomas Savage (1501-1507). Further, the southwest additions to the north wing had previously been though to have been added in c.1650 by Colonel Walter White, but dendrochronological dating of both the floor and roof structures indicated a date of c.1560s suggesting it was the work of Archbishop Young (1561 - 1568). The timbers dated from this phase of work all appeared to be in situ, with no evidence of reuse. Some of the timbers from these two phases of development of the palace were reused in the alterations to the north range, particularly when the bay front was inserted into the northwest elevation and part of the roof structure replaced. NMR Information: Site code: YBP07-08. A watching brief established the presence of in situ elements of the floor and roof structures within the north range of the palace. A single inhumation of 14th century or later date was found west of the palace. Cobbled surfaces and post-medieval foundations and walls were also observed.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Unpublished document: FAS. 2007/8. Bishopthorpe Palace.
  • --- Unassigned: NMR. NMR data.

Related Monuments/Buildings (7)

  • BISHOPTHORPE PALACE AND CHAPEL (Building)
  • BREWSTER'S COTTAGE AND BREWHOUSE (Building)
  • GATEHOUSE AND WALLS ADJOINING TO BISHOPTHORPE PALACE (Building)
  • SUNDIAL APPROXIMATELY 10 METRES SOUTH-EAST OF BISHOPSTHORPE PALACE (Building)
  • THE STABLES TO BISHOPTHORPE PALACE (Building)
  • Unnamed (Monument)
  • WALL AND ARCHWAY ADJOINING BISHOPSTHORPE PALACE TO RIGHT (Building)

Child/subsequent Site Events/Activities (3)

  • BISHOPTHORPE PALACE FROM WEST. (Ref: AJC200/26 27)
  • SEE ALSO/37 -BISHOPTHORPE PALACE (Ref: PVA78:03:16/36)
  • Bishopthorpe Palace (Ref: YBP06)

Record last edited

Jul 31 2019 10:15AM

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