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Cathedral Quarter, City of Lincoln
Medieval Bishops' Palace

Medieval Bishops’ Palace

The ruins of the medieval home to the Bishop of Lincoln, dating to the 12th century, found in the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral. LIMITED ACCESS DUE TO CONSERVATION WORK.

Due to a comprehensive conservation project currently underway, Lincoln Medieval Bishops’ Palace is only accessible by limited, pre-booked hard-hat tours. See the English Heritage website for full details.

Standing almost in the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral, the palace boasts sweeping views over the ancient city and the countryside beyond. An engaging audio tour will guide you around the palace and explain more of its history.

The Bishops' Palace was built in 1163 to house the bishop of Lincoln who would be at the head of the largest diocese in medieval England, stretching from the Humber to the Thames. This made it one of the most important buildings in the country and its gothic architecture reflected the enormous power and wealth of the church at the time.

The undercrofted East Hall, built in the 1230s by Bishop St Hugh, is one of the site's most impressive features and still survives today. The chapel range and entrance tower are also still standing, built in thr 1430s by Bishop Alnwick to 'modernise' the palace.

The English Civil War was the main cause of the ruin of the palace as it was set on fire and sacked in the 1640s. In the mid 18th century, on foundations of some of the abandoned ruins, a new palace for the Bishop was built which has now been converted to a unique, luxury B&B.

Medieval Bishops' Palace Garden

Down a set of medieval steps and through the ancient wall is the entrance to a contemporary Heritage Garden, a haven of peace and tranquility.

The carefully sculpted garden is in formation of the vaulted ceilings of the cathedral and the hornbeams represent the spires – taking inspiration from the elegant workmanship of medieval craftsmen. A garden in this space dates back to 1329, started by Bishop Burghesh and thought to have been a place to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers like other gardens of the time.

In addition to the modern garden there is a small vineyard located on the south facing slope which is maintained by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. It is one of the most northerly vineyards in England with vines donated in 1972 by Lincoln's twin city Neustadt-an-der-Weinstrasse, Germany. Plan your visits to see the different stages of the care and growth process.

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Opening Times & Prices

Due to a comprehensive conservation project currently underway, Lincoln Medieval Bishops’ Palace is only accessible by limited, pre-booked hard-hat tours. See the English Heritage website for full details.

Trails at Medieval Bishops’ Palace

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Minster Yard
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Explore the Cathedral Quarter (Castle Square)

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