b'The Site of the Palace of the Archbishops of York at Bishop WiltonA Summary of Research So FarThis summary brings together the outcome of research conducted over a period of 4 years by members of the Bishop Wilton Local History Group as published in the Groups Bulletins. The articles referred to and identified in the footnotes are listed at the end of this summary.Legend has it that King Athelstan of NorthumbriaIt is a translation from the Latin of an entry in the gifted lands to the church of John of Beverley as aCalendar of Close Rolls at the National Archives result of battle victories after 934. This is said to have(PRO), Kew. The entry is dated 1228. We assume included Wilton, hence the depiction of John andthat the fishpond of Wiltan (the outline of which is Athelstan in the stained glass of the west window ofstill visible) must have been an integral part of the St Ediths Church. Another source states that KingPalace site of the time, i.e. it would not have existed Athelstans gift was to Archbishop Wulstanusof Yorkwithout the other structures on the site. All of which (also referred to as Wulfstan) 1 . No documentarysupports Andrew Seftons conclusion which attributes evidence for this has been uncovered (e.g. in the formthe establishment of the Palace site to Archbishop De of a charter) and it would appear that succeedingGray. Archbishops of York quoted this legend in defence of their rights when questioned by the King at theIt is said that Athelstans gift was a way of time. giving thanks for his success in fighting the Research suggests that the Palace at Wilton wasScots after he prayed for assistance at the built in the time of Archbishop Walter De Gray (alsotomb of John of Beverley on his way north.referred to as Walter De Grey; Archbishop of York from 12161255) who is known to have been active with building projects in other areas of his diocese 2 . The Palace site as it exists today is a scheduledThe use of Wilton as a place of residence for the monument managed by English Heritage. In theirArchbishops of York is not open to question as there official record they say that the site is thought tois abundant documentary evidence in the form of have been built for Archbishop Neville during theletters written (in Latin), and signed by them with an reign of Edward IV which would give a date betweenidentification of where they were at the time.1465 and 1476. This is thought to be too late for the type of moated site it is and out of line with evidence (admittedly scant) that we have uncovered 3. The first record of a letter written by an The view that the palace was built by ArchbishopArchbishop of York when at Wiltonthat Neville, although we consider it to be erroneous, cansurvives appears to be one dated 6th May be explained. Firstly, an OS map of 1854 refers to1225, by De Gray.Hall Garth. Site of Archbishop Nevilles Palace. ItSource: Registers of Archbishop Gray, was prevalent in the 1800s for the site to be attributedSurtees Society, Volume 56.to Archbishop Neville. But herein lies a problem: there were two Archbishop Nevilles, one in office from 1374 until 1388 and one from 1465 to 1476. At least one directory from the 1800s makes the attribution to theWe believe that the Palace was in ruins by 1388 earlier Neville 4 . when a document declares the manor, which we The one fragment of documentary evidence for ourtake to mean the Archbishops residence, to be in dating of the site as opposed to English Heritages isa very ruinous state and almost fallen down. How it this 5 : declined we do not know for sure. It could have been The sheriff of York was to allow the archbishop ofransacked as a result of the seizing of the assets York 30 bream in the fishpond of Fossa to install inof Alexander Neville, Archbishop of York, upon his his fishpond of Wiltan. judgement as a traitor in 1388 6 .It is also possible 1Andrew Sefton, LHB 5.2As above.3Mike Pratt & Andrew Sefton, LHB 9.4As above.5Mike Pratt, LHB 10.6Andrew Sefton, LHB 11.274 BULLETIN 15'