The Archbishop’s Palace

The former Palace of the Archbishop of York stands next door to the Minster, adjoining the present official residence of the Bishop of Southwell. The Palace as we see it today dates from the 14th Century and was wrecked during the Civil War. The ruined part can be admired up-close from the Palace Gardens. The surviving built part of the Palace – the Great Hall – was restored in the Edwardian era. The Hall retains its original proportions and the beams of the magnificent vaulted ceiling of the State Chamber are mostly medieval originals.

The Palace's most famous occupant is Cardinal Wolsey. It was in the State Chamber of the Great Hall 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 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 was his first place of final imprisonment.

Visit the State Chamber page to find out how the Palace is used today. Please note the State Chamber closes at 5pm (4pm Sundays)

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 via a lift and newly installed kitchens allow for a much expanded list of potential users. Please have a look at the State Chamber page to find out more about hiring the space.

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 visit the Tours page. You can also take Virtual Tour of the State Chamber by clicking here.

Events open to the Public at the Archbishop’s Palace