Buckden Palace: Buckden Towers: Bugden

  • Buckden, Huntingdonshire
  • OSGB – TL 1924 6772
  • Scheduled Monument
  • Monument Number 363084
  • Grade II Listed Building


*                                  Medieval moated Bishop’s Palace with a stone curtain wall

1066                            c: Residence of the Bishops of Lincoln.

1086                            Mentioned as belonging to the Bishops of Lincoln.

1186-1200                   Hugh of Avalon was Bishop of Lincoln.

12C – 1842                 Residence of the Bishops of Lincoln.

1209-1235                   During: Bishop Hugh de Wells rebuilt the house.

1225                            c: Hugh de Wells built a new house, replacing the timber one.

1235-53                       Building work continued by Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln. Including the Great Hall.

1248                            Visited by Henry III.

1291                            Visited by Edward I. Mostly destroyed by fire, but was rebuilt immediately  when Thomas de Bayvill obtained a Licence for oak from the Forest of Keybridge.

1472-1480                   Bishop Scott built a tower and altered the Hall.

1480                            Towers were completed, in brick, by Bishop Rotherham.

1480-1485                   During: Building undertaken by Bishop Rotherham and completed by Bishop Russell, who built the gatehouse.

1483                            Visited by Richard III.

1495-1514                   New chapel built by Bishop William Smith.

1501                            Visited by Margaret Beaufort (mother of Henry VII).

1533-1534                   Katherine of Aragon was sent here by Henry VIII, following their divorce.

1541                            Visited by Henry VIII and Katherine Howard.

1551                            Visited by Henry and Charles Brandon, sons of the Duke of Suffolk.

1595                            Bishop Chaderton could not afford to stay and moved to a place near Buckden. He let Buckden Palace fall into ruin.

1619                            Visited by James I.

1625-1642                   Bishop John Williams repaired and refurbished the stables, barns, cloisters and grounds.

1637                            Bishop John Williams was sent to the Tower of London. A solicitor to the Star Chamber, Kilvert, ravaged the place, cut down the trees and killed the deer.

1641                            Bishop Winniffe was Bishop of Lincoln.

1641-1642                   Bishop Winniffe had the lands taken by Parliament

1649                            Alderman Sir Christopher Pack bought the towers for £8174.82 and pulled down most of the buildings

1654                            Thomas Winniffe wrote to Cromwell asking for payment of rent.

1660                            The site was returned to the Bishops of Lincoln. Bishop Saunderson repaired and restored it, including building rooms on the Cloister site.

1667                            Visited by Samuel Pepys.

1675-1691                   Bishop Barlow spent most of his time at the site.

1691                            Bishop Barlow died and was buried in the grounds.

1750                            Count Zingdorf, Bishop of the Moravian sect was received by Bishop Thomas at the site.

1787-1820                   Bishop Pretyman-Tomline built a library and Mourning Room and filled in the moat.

1790                            Visited by the Hon John Byng, later Viscount Torrington,

1814                            Visited by the Prince Regent, later George IV.

1820-1837                   Bishop Kaye lived at the site and added a turret staircase on the north side of the entrance hall

1838-1839                   Demolition work began. Domestic buildings were demolished. As well as part of the gatehouse and the Great Tower.

1842                            The site was conveyed to the vicar of Buckden. The remaining buildings and park became part of the Vicarage.

1870                            Sold by the vicar and brought by Mr. James Marshall.

1871                            The Great Chamber and chapel, built by Bishop Smith, were demolished, the west part of the moat filled in and the bridge was demolished.

1872                            Buckden Towers was built on the north section by Arthur Wellington Marshall and the moat was filled in.

*                                  Sir Arthur Wellington Marshall sold it to the Rev. Dr. Joseph Edleston.

1914-1918                   WWI: The site was used as a convalescent home.

1919                            Sold to Robert Holmes Edleston, who rebuilt part of the gatehouse.

1939-1945                   WWII: Used for evacuees.

1945                            After: Donated to Bishop Parker of Northampton by Dr. Edleston’s sister.

1956                            Given to the Claretain Missionaries.

1957                            The Claretain Missionaries moved in and restored the site.

1971                            Field Investigation.

1974                            St. Claret Centre was opened to visitors.

1988                            Appeal started to help with repairs.

1995                            Queen Katherine’s Tudor Knot Garden was opened.

1996                            Watching Brief by Cambridge Archaeological Unit, University of Cambridge.

20C                             Christian retreat and conference centre.


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