• The Arts and Crafts Garden, Talk by Jonathan Lovie, Thursday 20th February 2020 at 2.30 pm.
Devon Gardens Trust is devoted to the preservation and enhancement of gardens in the UK county of Devon

Bishop's Palace

Statutory Designation: 

Palace listed Grade I, wall fronting Palace Gate listed Grade II.
The City Wall is a Scheduled monument.

Grid ref: 
SX 921 925
Map no: 
Landranger 192
Type of site: 
Private grounds

The Bishop’s Palace, approached through the gatehouse with a fourteenth century arch, stands in generous grounds stretching from the south east corner of the cathedral to the city walls.   The Palace dates from 1224 and although the early history of the garden is not recorded , it is perhaps the oldest in Devon.  The medieval buildings were extensive but were truncated and remodelled from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, they were given their present exterior largely by Ewan Christian in1846-48 for Bishop Phillpotts.  Butterfield carried out some further alterations in the 1870’s.  Celia Fiennes noted in 1695 that ‘There is a long walk as well as broad, enclosed with rows of lofty trees which make it shady and pleasant, which went along a ditch and bank on which the town wall stands.’ .  The eighteenth century maps of the City show a garden layout which is largely retained.   In 1805 Mrs Price of Chester thought the grounds were beautiful and approved of the paths which were not paved but made of ‘ green sod.’   Extending to around 3 acres, the grounds contain some fine trees and a wild orchard garden.  The modern sculptures give added interest. 

Conservation Area: 
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: 
Area of Great Landscape Value: 
Nature Conservation Zone: 
Coastal Preservation Area: 
National Park: 
MapView plan, scale 1:2500 Ordnance Survey 1932 revision scale 1:2500 (WCSL sheet) Getmapping aerial photograph 1:2500 Historic Maps c1880 scale 1:2500
Cherry & Pevsner: The Buildings of England – Devon, 1989: 416-7 T. Gray: The Garden History of Devon, 1995: 47 S. Pugsley: Devon Gardens, An Historical Survey, 1996: 176
on Devon Gazetteer