Sonning Bishop's Palace

Sonning Bishop's Palace

Sonning Bishop's Palace

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Description:
Sonning Bishop's Palace was a former episcopal palace at Sonning, east of Reading, in Berkshire, England.

The palace was in Holme Park near the River Thames. It was a residence of the Bishops of Salisbury.

In 1135, while staying at the palace, Bishop Roger of Salisbury attended the funeral of King Henry I at Reading Abbey. In September 1316, King John stayed for six days at the palace. In 1337, defences were added by Bishop Robert Wyville of Salisbury. After the death of King Richard II in 1400, his wife Isabella of Valois was kept prisoner at the palace.

The Bishops of Salisbury continued in residence, some more often than others, until they sold it to Queen Elizabeth I. She visited the palace twice, but later it fell into disrepair.

The site of the palace was excavated in 1912–14 and evidence of a hall, chapel and other rooms was found.Keyser, C.E. (1916). Notes on excavations carried out on the site of the palace of the Bishop of Salisbury at Sonning, The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Archaeological Journal, 22:2–21. The remains dated from the 13th century with alterations in the 14th and 15th centuries. The buildings were surrounded by a moat on three sides.

Today nothing can be seen of the palace from the surface apart from some unevenness in the ground. It is in a grass field used for cows between St Andrew's Church and Sonning Lock.

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