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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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About Bishopthorpe Palace

Bishopthorpe Palace has been the home of the Archbishops of York for over 750 years.


Bishopthorpe Palace A multi-functional building

Today Bishopthorpe Palace operates as a multi-functional premises, hosting working offices, meeting rooms, worship areas and living quarters.

In addition to functioning as the Archbishop's home and office of the Northern Province, the palace and its grounds are also used for charity open days, retreats, evening receptions, village fetes, and dinners.


Bishopthorpe Palace from the River OuseBishopthorpe Palace - the three stages of development

When Archbishop Walter de Grey bought the village of Thorpe St. Andrew in 1226, (this was later to become Bishopthorpe), he demolished the old manor house of St Andrews's to build the new Bishopthorpe palace.
He reused some of the old stone from the manor house in the undercroft of the new building. This can still be seen today.
The second stage of development at the Bishopthorpe Palace took place between 1480 and 1500 when Archbishop Rotherham added the North Wing to the palace.
The third stage of development took place between 1761 and 1769. Archbishop Drummond appointed the famous architect firm of John Carr who designed the gothic stable block and gatehouse. This was followed in 1766-9 by the building of the front of the Bishopthorpe Palace. This provided a new Entrance Hall and Drawing Room which today includes several portraits of previous Archbishops.
Bishopthorpe Palace reached its maximum extent by 1900. Since then, successive Archbishops have made more effective use of the space in the building by designating separate areas for personal apartments, public rooms and offices for the Archbishop's staff.
An Archbishop of York has been resident at Bishopthorpe Palace from 1241 to present date, excepting only  the ten years during the protectorate from 1650 to 1660 and during interregnum periods.
If you would like to know more about Bishopthorpe Palace, contact the Minster Library Archives for more information.



How to book?

Enquiries as to hiring meeting rooms in the Palace or enquiries relating to functions should be directed to the Palace Manager.