Work Completes at Lincoln Medieval Bishops’ Palace

Buttress has completed work on the four-year-long programme of conservation and repair works at Lincoln Medieval Bishops’ Palace.

Lincoln Medieval Bishops’ Palace, which stands in the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral, was built around the 12th century and formed the major administrative centre of the largest diocese in medieval England, stretching from the Humber to the Thames.  Its significant architecture reflected the enormous power, wealth and importance within England at the time. 

a stone ruin in front of Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Medieval Bishops' Palace

Delivered for English Heritage, the £2.5m project aimed to conserve and repair the entire palace site.  Buttress started the preliminary work in 2019, with a start on-site two years later.   Our approach to the project was to conserve and repair the palace with as little intervention as possible. This can be seen in the stonework, which was worked on by highly skilled stonemasons using the most accurately authentic stone possible, which was sourced locally from the Lincoln Cathedral Quarry. The visitor experience has been a key focus of Buttress’ work by improving the understanding of the site and opening up areas which had previously been inaccessible to the public.

Buttress also sought to engage with as many interested people as possible and talk with them about the work involved in conserving a medieval monument.  This was done through weekly tours and events for groups that included local universities and special interest groups. 

The conservation phase took six months to complete through to the informed reinstatement or renewal of the severely decayed and unstable fabric of the structure. The west side consisted of the west hall and kitchen and was the public-facing space for events and banquets.  The east side being the main private living area of the bishop’s residence. 

Lincoln Medieval Bishops' Palace - English Heritage

 To support the conservation, Buttress utilized pioneering digital technology to ensure the informed repair of the fabric using traditional techniques and materials.  

Buttress associate director, Edward Kepczyk commented:  

“This was a significant project where we worked hard to ensure that the works were done both sensitively and robustly enabling the palace to be conserved, understood and appreciated. Whilst working on the project, all of us involved had the next generations at the forefront of our minds – we want them to conserve, understand and enjoy the site for the following centuries." 

the wall of a medieval ruin is seen with lincoln cathedral in the background
a stone mason in a high visibility jacket is working on a medieval wall - behind him is a man pointing to the pointing in the wall.  They are standing on scaffolding.
"We’re thrilled to learn that since the work was completed that many people have commented on how much they have appreciated visiting the palace and the areas which have not been previously open to the public.”
Edward Kepczyk, Associate Director, Buttress

Work was completed on schedule and the palace opened to the public recently. Buttress will continue to advise English Heritage on the continuing care and maintenance of the palace.

Talk to the team