Bishop's palace at Halling


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Bishop's palace at Halling
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 31-Mar-2020 at 08:56:47.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Medway (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 70544 63902

Reasons for Designation

Bishops' palaces were high status domestic residences providing luxury accommodation for the bishops and lodgings for their large retinues; although some were little more than country houses, others were the setting for great works of architecture and displays of decoration. Bishops' palaces were usually set within an enclosure, sometimes moated, containing a range of buildings, often of stone, including a hall or halls, chapels, lodgings and a gatehouse, often arranged around a courtyard or courtyards. The earliest recorded examples date to the seventh century. Many were occupied throughout the medieval period and some continued in use into the post- medieval period; a few remain occupied today. Only some 150 bishops' palaces have been identified and documentary sources confirm that they were widely dispersed throughout England. All positively identified examples are considered to be nationally important.

Although part of the site of the bishop's palace at Halling has been destroyed, the monument contains undisturbed below-ground remains, particularly of the great hall, and the surviving wall retains architectural features which illustrate gothic building techniques.


The monument includes the remains of the bishop's palace at Halling, situated on the western bank of the River Medway, immediately to the east of the parish Church of St John the Baptist. The monument includes the site of the great hall, but further remains of the palace to the east of the monument, and an associated chapel to the south east, have now been destroyed. The ruined western wall of the great hall, which is Listed at Grade II, remains upstanding to a height of around 6m. It was 0.6m thick and built with a rubble and flint core faced with ragstone blocks interspersed with occasional knapped flints. The wall is pierced by three, single-light windows, the northernmost two of which have trefoil cusps, whilst the southernmost is a simple lancet. The windows are dressed in red ironstone. A further length of medieval walling continues from the northern end of the standing hall wall towards the north for 13m, and survives to a height of c.1m. The remainder of the hall survives to the east in buried form. The palace was built in 1077, and was rebuilt or substantially altered in 1184, and again between 1320 and 1330 by Bishop Hamo de Hythe. During the 18th century, much of the palace superstructure was removed, and the hall was converted into a dwelling house. Further destruction of the ruins took place in the 19th and 20th centuries. The surviving, upstanding remains were restored in 1983. Running towards the east from the northern end of the western hall wall is a short length of stone walling which formed part of a modern pigsty. This feature is excluded from the scheduling; a further length of wall which continues towards the south from the southern end of the hall wall, and which is constructed of reused medieval masonry, is interpreted as a modern boundary wall and is therefore also excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath both features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


RCHME, TQ 76 SW 27,


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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