Bishop's Palace

All on Devon Local List
  • Private Gardens
Post Code:
Local Authority:
OS Grid Ref:
SX 921 925
Map no.:
Landranger 192

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.

Listed Buildings

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





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

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