b'says 4 : The moated site of the 12th century is Andrew Sefton has discovered a referenceeverywhere exceptional, though numbers were to the interior of the church prior toclearly increasing in the following century, to restoration in a book published in 1831reach a climax in the later 13th century. After called A New and Complete History of the1325, there seems to be a considerable drop in Church by Thomas Allen. In associationthe number constructed.with a shield of arms in a window in the2.We know that the Archbishops of York were visiting and staying at Wilton from the time of church it says, These are the arms ofArchbishop Grey (1215-1255) to Archbishop Bishop Neville, who formerly resided inAlexander Neville (1374-1388) because of this parish, which gave rise to the name ofthe letters they wrote which were dated and Bishop-Wilton. In the neighbourhood of theidentified with the Latin apud Wilton meaning church is a field moated round, in which it isat Wilton. said his palace stood. A further discovery 3.There is no documentary evidence, found by Andrew, in an edition of the Yorkshireso far, for the Archbishops visits continuing Archaeological Journal, specificallyafter Alexander Neville. There is evidence, attributes these arms to Alexander Neville,however, for the curtailment of ecclesiastical fifth son of Ralph, second Lord Nevile. visitations generally across the country after the upheavals of the 14th century. Christopher Dyer says: Earls and bishops who before the a directory published in 1823, simply states: first plague had maintained and visited twenty Bishop Neville had founded a palace here,or more houses and castles, now focused which was moated round, and from which ittheir expenditure on three or four residences, is supposed the village derived its name. which they could build and furnish to a higher Interestingly the earliest OS map of 1845 identifiesstandard.5the site as that of Archbishop Nevilles Palace. There is at least one possibility that could embrace We have, at least, discovered some sources for theboth the English Heritage and the Local History Group SMRs dating of the Palace site despite the frustratingperspectives but it is very tenuous. We know that a discrepancies that they reveal. The question now isdocument, dated 1388 6 , produced as a result of the what those sources were based on. There are at leastforfeiture of land by Archbishop Alexander Neville two distinct possibilities. One is that they are based ondescribed the manor (i.e. manor house) at Wilton earlier documentary sources that we have yet to find.as being in a very ruinous state and almost fallen The other is that they are based on local knowledgedown. It is just possible that Archbishop George or belief and that the compilers of one or more ofNeville in the 15th century built a residence by the the various books actually interviewed people. If theChurch, leaving the Palace site as a ruin, and it is this latter, it is possible that they misinterpreted what theythat is remembered and referred to in the 19th century were told, e.g. the fact that an Archbishop was saidaccounts. This seems most unlikely as visits to Wilton to have resided in Bishop Wilton was interpreted asappear to have ceased by then. him having built or founded the palace there; withoutIn summary, our working assumption at the knowing that there were two Archbishop Nevilles onemoment is that the Nevilles were confused one was confused with the other.with another in the 1800s and that it is the earlier Archbishop Alexander Neville who was the last and The Local History Group Perspective most remembered visitor to the palace at Wilton, but There is no specific documentary evidenceit was not him who built it as it dates to an earlier time supporting an earlier date for the building andwhen such moated sites were more common. existence of the Archbishops Palace; it is all indirectContinuing Researchand can be simply stated as follows: It is still possible that continuing research will 1.Moated sites like the one at Bishop Wilton areuncover direct documentary evidence for the thought to date predominantly from the 12thexistence of the Archbishops residence on the Palace to the 13th century. H. E. Jean Le Patourelsite thus allowing unequivocal dating.who studied the moated sites of Yorkshire 4The Moated Sites of Yorkshire by H. E. Jean Le Patourel, published by The Society for MedievalArchaeology Monograph Series No. 5, London, 19735Making a Living in the Middle Ages. The People of Britain 8501520 by Christopher Dyer, published byPenguin Books, 20036All we have is a translated extract, entitled Extent of Wylton, the original document having not yetbeen located.BULLETIN 9 139'