New insights on Ely Palace

Ground Floor Plan Goodrich01

On Wednesday evening I spoke to the Little Downham Society on the subject of the Bishop’s Palace in Ely, which gave me an opportunity to discuss my most recent theories regarding the layout of the Palace before 1667, when Bishop Laney remodelled the building to its present form. Little Downham actually has a Bishop’s Palace of its own, the surviving portion of Bishop Alcock’s favourite summer palace, but few have had the chance to visit this building. My talk took the form of a chronological treatment of the structure of the building, with occasional digressions into the historical events that took place there. Since writing my book on the Palace in 2012, I have made a more detailed study of John Speed’s representation of the building in his survey map of 1607, and produced a conjectural groundplan (see above) based on it. The pink lines are guesswork based on Speed’s drawing, while the grey lines represent existing walls.

This week has also seen both The Ely Standard and Ely Weekly News print articles on the publication of Witches and Witchcraft in Ely.

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