b'A Tale of Two ManorsAndrew SeftonT he tale of the ownership of the Manor of Bishopthe site of an older Hall. English Heritage 6in their Wilton is complex and reflects the turmoil of thedescription of the ancient monument state that the times following the Norman invasion, the Reformationremains visible today overlie earlier structures. The and the ways that lands and properties weresize of the moat surrounding Hall Garth is substantial; distributed into lay hands.The story starts with thewas it built by the Archbishop to defend against gift by King Althelstan in 937, of the Manor of Bishopmarauding Scots, or was the palace built on the Wilton to Archbishop Wulstanus of York along withremains of earlier defensive earthworks built by the Beverley, Ripon, Otley, Cawood and Sherburn 1 . Saxons to defend against the invading Danes?Otley Bishop Burton was not acquired by the Dean andwas not built with defensive ditches and moat, and if Chapter of York until after the Norman Conquest inthe Scots were priority for defence, then surely they 1194 2 . Let us speculate as to why these Manors inwould have been built at Otley. This indicates the particular were given. Beverley and Ripon weredefences at Bishop Wilton were older, and the reason obviously large and prosperous settlements in Saxonfor Athelstans gift, and simply built upon by the times and would generate considerable income. OtleyArchbishop, who would have later converted the older is the only palace site to have been archaeologicallydefensive ditches into a moat fed by his newly created investigated 3 .This excavation discovered thefishponds 7around the time of the Scottish raids. This possible remains of a Saxon Hall on the site prior tois of course speculation, and can only be answered by the building of the Archbishops residence. Wheater 4archaeology. Therefore, were the gifts to the church suggests Cawood was probably built by Athelstanin 937 Manors which could be defended against the as a defensive manor, the only route through theinvading Vikings, or were they just valuable and rich dense forests, to his ancient seat of Sherburn in ElmetManors which could generate revenue? Either way, where Athelstan had his palace. Mountain 5 statesit is still a mystery as to why such a small Manor as that Athelstan built a Castle in Cawood in 920. TheBishop Wilton, of the hundreds of Manors he could invading Danes would sail up the river Ouse andhave given, would be included alongside the larger embark at a point close to Cawood and Riccall,and more impressive gifts of Beverley and Ripon. just as they did in 1066 for their most infamousThe survey of 1086 8 shows Bishop Wilton as one invasion. Sherburn was Althelstans home, and to giveManor held by Archbishop Eldred with 15 farmers Sherburn to the church was a significant gesture andhaving 7 ploughs. In 1215 Archbishop Walter de showed his commitment to the church.But, BishopGray became Archbishop of York, a clever man with Wilton? Why was Bishop Wilton included in theseaspirations to improve the finances and organisation illustrious gifts? The Palace site in Bishop Wilton wasof the Church. He reorganised the parochial system, significantly called Hall Garth and indicates this wasbuilt churches and instituted vicarages. In the diocese 1Eboracum the history and antiquities of the city of York by Francis Drake. 1736.2Victoria County History Vol. IV (O.U.P.1979), ed. K.J. Allison3Excavation of the Archbishop of Yorks Manor House at Otley YAJ Vol 45, 1975, P. 1154History of Sherburn and Cawood by W. Wheater. 1882.5History of Cawood by James Mountain. 1800.6English Heritage Site of Archbishops moated palace & fishponds, Hall GarthSM210547p153, The dating of the Palace siteUpdate, 8Y.A.J. xiii P.492BULLETIN 11 181'