Archbishop’s Palace

The Archbishop’s Palace and the recently created Education Garden are an exciting new visitor attraction adjacent to Southwell Minster.

The Palace as we see it today dates from the 14th Century and the ruined part can be admired up-close for the first time from The Education Garden. Although the surviving built part of the Palace – the Great Hall – was restored in the Edwardian era, it retains its original proportions with the beams of the magnificent vaulted ceiling of the State Chamber mostly medieval originals.

The most famous occupant was the all-powerful Cardinal Wolsey. It was in this room of the Palace that he would have held his last frantic meetings in 1530 to try and extricate himself from his failure to secure Henry VIII a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Equally, the nature of the room’s function makes it a reasonable supposition that Charles Ӏ would have met his advisers here and, following his capture in Southwell, his arrest was formalised here. Certainly, the Palace is his first place of final imprisonment.

With such a rich heritage, the State Chamber now makes an excellent and flexible resource space – wedding receptions, exhibitions, conferences, social gatherings, community events etc. Access is via a lift, and newly installed kitchens allows for a much expanded list of potential users.

Flexible Interpretation within the State Chamber engages and informs visitors. The gardens outside provide an excellent educational resource for visitors and school groups alike with regular events and activities.

National Lottery Heritage Fund LogoThe Heritage Lottery Fund has provided a raft of text panels, leaflets and electronic soundscapes to take you through the building; however, if any group, club or society would like an informal tour please get in touch with Charlie who will organise a day.  Charlie Leggatt: 01636 817283,

Opening Times

9.00am to 5.00pm daily. It is advisable to check the closure notices before setting off on your journey as the venue may be used for chargeable events or private hire.


The Archbishop's Palace is fully accessible. The pathway has been widened for wheelchair access, and a lift installed.

Guided Tours

For full details, prices and a booking form, please go to the Your Visit pages.

Events open to the Public at the Archbishop’s Palace