b'The Dating of the Palace SiteMike Pratt & Andrew SeftonThe English Heritage Perspective The very first entry for the Palace Site in the SMR records at Hull 1shows where English Heritage get I n an article on Wiltons Deer Park in Bulletin 7 it wastheir dating from: The site is believed to mark the explained that English Heritage who manage thepalace of Archbishop Neville who resided here in Palace Site say that the site is thought to have beenthe reign of Edward IV. His arms appear on one of built for Archbishop Neville during the reign of Edwardthe church windows. A subsequent entry (based IV. This would give a date between 1465 and 1476,on a quotation 2 ) says that The site was used by the but based on Andrew Seftons research we think thatArchbishops of York in the 13th and 14th centuries. the date is earlier than that. Is this inconsistency or does it imply that although the We sent a letter to English Heritage in Marchsite was used in the 13th and 14th century, it was 2004 explaining our concerns about their dating (andonly in the 15th century that a palace was built? There also about the precise boundaries of the site) andare no grounds for such an assumption unless there is asking them if they had any documentary evidenceevidence that Archbishop George Neville did actually to support their view. We received a reply in the samehave something built at Wilton.month which was encouraging and supportive. TheAlthough we do not know of any actual respondent said: It seems to me highly likely that thedocumentary evidence, we do know that it was a view site originated at an earlier date. But on the questionthat was held in the 1800s. There is this reference to of any evidence for the 15th century dating we wereBishop Wilton in a book published in 1856 3 :told that English Heritages historical informationThe place derives its affix from the palace was drawn from information in the local Sites andwhich was erected here by Archbishop Monuments Record in Hull. It was suggested that weNeville, in the reign of Edward IV. This supply the SMR in Hull (and English Heritage) with aepiscopal residence stood in a moated consolidated report on our research on the site so thatfield, near a church, where there is now a they can update their own records so that these canlarge farm house, and some fine avenues of be fully used in consideration of any planning or otherlofty trees.matters affecting the site.Does that help us? No, not really, as the description appears to relate to the site of the Manor The SMR in Hull holds records for theHouse (the large farm house) near the Church which East Riding of Yorkshire in the form ofwe know had lofty trees nearby and which we suspect OS Maps that are manually annotated towas surrounded by a moat!identify sites of interest. Each site has aIf that isnt confusing enough there is an earlier reference number that relates to supportingreference in Whites Directory of 1840:information on record sheets that are storedThe soil belongs to many proprietors, but Sir T. Sykes is lord of the manor, which was in physical files. A record sheet for a siteformerly held by the Archbishops of York, contains numbered entries, either typedone of whom, Alex. Neville, had a palace or handwritten, that include quotations,here, in a moated field, near the church, documentary references, aerial photowhere there is now a large farm-house, and references and expert assessments. Anyonesome fine avenues of lofty trees.can consult the SMR archives by priorThe phrasing is similar apart from the fact that it appointment. attributes the palace to Archbishop Alexander Neville (1374 to 1388) rather than Archbishop George Neville (1465 to 1476)!To help produce this consolidated report it seemsA coat of arms in a window in the church (see box) worthwhile to investigate the claim that the Palaceprior to its restoration points to the earlier Archbishop was built by Archbishop George Neville between 1465Neville as the one most directly associated with the and 1476. palace at Bishop Wilton.The earliest reference found so far, in Baines Vol 2, 1SMR Ref. No. 7172From The Moated Sites of Yorkshire by H. E. Jean Le Patourel (1971). The actual quote is desmesnemanor house used by archbishop during 13th and 14th centuries.3History and Topography of the City of York; The Ainsty Wapentake; and the East Riding of York by J. J.Sheahan and T. Whellan138 BULLETIN 9'