Alnwick Tower

Alnwick Tower

This evening, I am focusing on the (now ruined) Bishops’ Palace in Lincoln, England. This dates back to construction by Bishop Robert de Chesney in the 12th century and a re-build shortly afterwards by Hugh of Avalon (appointed 1186) as a  function of a serious earthquake. Summary chronology thereafter as follows:

  • 1329: Fortifications under Bishop Henry Burghersh including a new gate-house.
  • 1436-49: Refurbishment and updates under Bishop William Alnwick
  • 1536: Damaged during the Lincolnshire Rising but repairs probably effected by time of visit of Henry VIII and Queen Catherine Howard in 1541.
  • 1625-28: Repairs by Bishop John Williams.
  • 1643: During English Civil War the Palace was used as a prison and materials such as lead taken from structure for munitions.
  • 1648: Building fired during Civil War conflict. Demolition thereafter.
  • 1652: Site acquired by Col. James Berry who converted the remains into a house.
  • 1726: Stone from the Palace used to repair the Cathedral.
  • 1738: Remaining buildings converted into a Georgian residence.
  • 1838: Clearance and repair under Charkes Mainwaring.
  • 1876: Tower restored to provide lecture rooms for a Theological College.
  • 1886-88: Bishop Edward King moves back to the Palace site.
  • 1945: Vacated by the Bishop. Accommodation became a conference and retreat centre whilst ruins placed in public ownership and are now a visitor attraction.

Today, the main aspects of the ruins comprise:

  • Entrance Tower
  • Lower East Hall.
  • Lower Terrace.
  • Kitchen.
  • Upper East Hall.
  • Alnwick’s Chapel Range.
  • West Hall.


Vineyard at Bishops' Palace
Vineyard at Bishops’ Palace

Inside Bishops' Palace Ruins

Inside Bishops’ Palace Ruins

Lower East Hall, Bishop's Palace
Lower East Hall, Bishop’s Palace

View from Lower East Hall, Bishops' Palace

View from Lower East Hall, Bishops’ Palace

West Hall Interior, Bishops' Palace

West Hall Interior, Bishops’ Palace

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