outhwell Minster was founded in Saxon times and rebuilt by the Normans as an independent church in the Diocese of York served by a group of priests supported by prebendal endowments of land and tithes. There were never any monks here. A Palace was needed for when the Archbishop of York visited and the first such residence is mentioned in Domesday Book.
The Palace and Minster were severely damaged during the Civil War, 1642–51, and the Palace partly dismantled. Many of the original stones can be found in homes throughout the town. The ruins you see on the grounds are those of the original Palace.
The Minster became a Cathedral in 1884 and, during Edwardian times, a Manor was built for the Bishop into the south western corner of the ruins.
Highlights of the Palace include:
- The entrance pathway reflects the evolution of language and of the people who have occupied this site.
- The site of the Song School, where the Choristers of the Minster Cathedral Choir rehearse.
- A compelling, three-dimensional sound scape and film bringing the history of the site to life
- Time line of objects on the top of the landing represents key periods in the history of the Palace (first floor).
- The newly refurbished State Chamber was used by Cardinal Wolsey and King Charles I.
- The Education Garden explores key periods important to the history of the Palace through plants. The design features a medieval herb parterre; a Tudor knot garden; a border planted in the style of Edwardian plants woman Gertrude Jekyll; wildlife areas including a winter border and woodland and wild meadow.
- The ruins of the Medieval Palace.
- Bishop’s Manor(private).The home of the Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham, built into one corner of the Palace ruins in Edwardian times.