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From 1133 to 1536 there were 17 bishops' sees in England and four in Wales. Two out of these 21 sees had two cathedrals, Bath and Wells, and Coventry and Lichfield. At each cathedral the bishop had a house or palace. This book describes the surviving medieval remains there and the far more numerous manor houses and castles owned by the bishops, as well as their London houses. Apart from royal residences, these are far the largest group of medieval domestic buildings of a single type that we have. The author describes how these houses relate to the way of life of the bishops in relation to their duties and their income, and how in particular the dramatic social changes of the later middle ages influenced their form. The work of the great bishop castle builders of the 12th century is discussed, as are the general history of the medieval house with its early influence from the continent, the changes in style of hall and chamber and its climax in the great courtyard houses of Cardinal Wolsey, Archbishop of York. The book includes a collection of plans, sections and photographs of the surviving parts of bishops' residences, with a survey of 1647 of the Archbishop's palace at Canterbury before demolition.
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