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Visit Bishopthorpe, York

Updated on July 23, 2015
Bishopthorpe Old Post Office. The Post Office has now moved into the Newsagents on Sim Balk Lane.
Bishopthorpe Old Post Office. The Post Office has now moved into the Newsagents on Sim Balk Lane. | Source

The Beauty of Bishopthorpe

The beauty of Bishopthorpe is that this quaint and pretty village is situated just south of the ancient City of York, near York Racecourse, Bishopthorpe Palace, Designer Outlet and York College. It has a population of 3,174 and a great community feel, with a vibrant church, Village Hall, excellent Library, village pubs, good schools, shops and other services.

The quality of the built environment is reflected in the fact that the area of Main Street and the Palace were made a conservation area in 1989 along with other open areas of the village.

Transport links are excellent, and there are footpaths and cycle tracks giving you access to both town and country.

Are there any down sides to Bishopthorpe? Only that, due to its popularity, property prices tend to be elevated, however, this means that buying property in Bishopthorpe is a good investment.

Visiting York can be an expensive business; here's how to cut your costs for a budget holiday The City of York - Tips for a Vacation on a Budget

Please note that all content and pictures, unless otherwise attributed, are the property of B L Walton and must not be reused or copied without written permission.

Bishopthorpe, York YO23, Royaume Uni

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Where is Bishopthorpe?

Bishopthorpe is situated in North East England, just south of the historic City of York. To the north of the village is the A64 road leading to Leeds and to the east is the river Ouse. It has easy access to the A1237, the York ring road, and the A19 to Selby making it an ideal centre for commuters.

  • York City centre is 3 miles, ten minutes by car or 60 minutes on foot
  • York race course is 7 minutes by car and 30 minutes on foot
  • Leeds City centre is 40 miles
  • Hull City centre is 45 miles
  • Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBA) 30 miles
  • Scarborough and Bridlington are 45 miles

Bishopthorpe is south of York

Bishopthorpe, York YO23, Royaume Uni

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How far is Bishopthorpe from the centre of York?

Bishopthorpe is four and a half miles from the centre of York. It will take you about 15 minutes to drive from Bishopthorpe to the centre of York, about an hour to walk, (there are nice footpaths), and about half an hour by bus.

Bishop thorpe - The ruins of the second Church of St Andrew
Bishop thorpe - The ruins of the second Church of St Andrew | Source

A potted history of Bishopthorpe - Bishop thorpe

Bishopthorpe has a long and rich history. It was mentioned in The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book, but not under its present name.

What's in a name?

The history of Bishopthorpe is refected in the change of name throughout the centuries. The word 'Thorpe' suggests that Bishopthorpe was originally a Danish village, and it is called Torp/Thorpe or Badetorps in earliest references. It came to be known as Thorp-super-Usam or Thorpe-on-Ouse in 1194. In 1202, Prior and monks of St. Andrews at Fishergate, built the first church here and dedicated it to their patron saint.

The name Thorp-super-Usam therefore gradually superseded by Andrewthorpe or Thorpe St. Andrew. The link with 'Bishop' began in 1226 when Archbishop de Grey bought land in Bishopthorpe and began building a chapel and manor house in 1241 and by 1275, the earliest written record of the name Bishopthorpe, spelt '"Biscupthorpe"' appears in documents.

The Palace at Bishopthorpe continues to be the residence for the Archbishops of York today.

Pick up the excellent leaflet, A Walk Through Time in Bishopthorpe, prodced by Bishopthorpe Local History Group

Bishopthorpe Palace
Bishopthorpe Palace | Source

Bishopthorpe Palace

Bishopthorpe Palace has to be the jewel in the crown of the village. The magnificent house is set well back from the road and is guarded and framed by a gate house. Although the oldest parts of the Palace date back to 1241, there have been various additions over time. In 1760's Archbishop Drummond built the playful Gothic west front, reminiscent of Horace Walpole's Twickenham house, Strawberry Hill.

Bishopthorpe Palace York

York Minster
York Minster | Source

What makes Bishopthorpe such a great place to live?

The answers to this are wide-ranging, as the best places to live depend on a whole range of things. I've already touched on the quality of the architecture, the excellent situation of Bishopthorpe with easy access to several main cities. There is a cohesion about Bishopthorpe, both geographical and social which gives it a distinct character, and it is rich in both culture and amenities. Here are a few highlights:

Bishopthorpe Conservation Area

Bishopthorpe Conservation Area (Conservation Area No. 12) Covers 43.3 hectares of land. As previously noted, Bishopthorpe was designated as a Conservation Area in 1989 and it includes the Main Street, the Archbishop’s Palace together with gardens and grounds, and other parts of the village thought to encompass the special character of Bishopthorpe.

Grade I Listed buildings in Bishopthorpe

Bishopthorpe Palace and Chapel, the Archbishops Palace 13th century listed 14 July 1952

Grade II Listed buildings in Bishopthorpe

  • Bishopthorpe Garth, Sim Balk Lane
  • Chestnut Cottage,Chantry Lane
  • Ruined Church of St Andrew, 5 Ferry Lane, Bishopthorpe
  • Stables, Wall and Gate-Piers to the Whitehouse, Chantry Lane, Bishopthorpe
  • The Chantry, 5 Ferry Lane, Bishopthorpe
  • The Cottage, Chantry Lane, Bishopthorpe
  • The Ebor Inn, Main Street, Bishopthorpe
  • The Whitehouse, Chantry Lane, Bishopthorpe

Grade II Listed buildings on Bishopthorpe Road

  • The Church of St Andrew
  • The War Memorial
  • The Stables to Bishopthorpe PalaceDovecote c. 50 Metres South East of Middlethorpe Hall
  • Garth Cottage, Mews and Gatehouses to Bishopthorpe Garth
  • The Gatehouse and Walls of Bishopthorpe Palace
  • Middlethorpe Hall and Manor
  • Priory Corner
  • Brewsters Cottage and Brewhouse

St Andrews Church Bishopthorpe
St Andrews Church Bishopthorpe | Source

Two churches at Bishopthorpe

Bishopthorpe has two churches, St Andrews and Bishopthorpe Methodist Church. The churches are active in cultural life and make very pretty pictures as well as having interesting histories.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Marcia BishopthorpeThe Woodman BishopthorpeThe Ebor Bishopthorpe
The Marcia Bishopthorpe
The Marcia Bishopthorpe | Source
The Woodman Bishopthorpe
The Woodman Bishopthorpe | Source
The Ebor Bishopthorpe
The Ebor Bishopthorpe | Source

Bishopthorpe has three village pubs

The other mainstay of an English village is the village pub and there are plenty of lovely pubs in Bishopthorpe. The Woodman, The Marcia (formerly The Grey Mare), and the Ebor, (formerly The Brown Cow). personally, I prefer the old names. Still .....

All the pubs serve meals and make an effort to look attractive with nice floral displays in summer.

More details:

The Ebor 46 Main Street, Bishopthorpe, York, North Yorkshire, YO23 2RB Tel: 08721 077 077

The Marcia 29 Main Street, Bishopthorpe, York, North Yorkshire, YO23 2RA Tel: 08721 077 077

The Woodman 16 Main Street, Bishopthorpe, York, North Yorkshire, YO23 2RB Tel: 08721 077 077

Bishopthorpe Marina
Bishopthorpe Marina | Source

Bishopthorpe Marina

Messing about on the river is one of life's little pleasures, and where better to mess than on this picturesque stretch of the River Ouse? From the main street of Bishopthorpe it is just minutes walk to the river side along a pleasant footpath that affords views of the Palace and takes you past the Marina with its colourful array of boats. There is also a riverside camp site and Kayaking.

For more information contact York Marine

You can just see the ghost on the towpath if you click on the image to see it full size
You can just see the ghost on the towpath if you click on the image to see it full size | Source

Bishopthorpe has its own ghost

I must confess that neither I nor any members of my family have ever seen the headless lady said the haunt the village, however, this is how the story pf the Ghost of Bishopthorpe goes:

A wealthy woman was murdered for her money and her body was hidden not far from her house in Bishopthorpe. Several days later, the corpse was discovered in a state of decay was so bad that her head had become separate from her torso. Her headless ghost haunted is said to walk Bishopthorpe and to haunt the area where her body lay for years afterwards.

I did manage to run to earth this picture of the ghost, and if you look on the towpath to the right, (click on the image to see it at full size), you can just see the headless lady as she passes by on her travels. Keep your eyes peeled and you might just be lucky enough to spot her.

York College
York College | Source

Playgroups, schools and colleges

  • York College York College is the largest provider of A Level and vocational programmes for 16 - 19 year olds in the region, offering over 40 A Level subjects and 80 vocational programmes. The college also offers a range of Higher Education courses for full and part-time study as well as many Adult Learning classes. Sim Balk Lane York YO23 2BB Telephone: 01904 770200

York Designer Outlet Shopping Mall
York Designer Outlet Shopping Mall | Source
York Designer Outlet:
Fulford, Designer Outlet (NW-bound), Fulford, York YO19 4, Royaume-Uni

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Co-operative Foods:
47 Main St, Bishopthorpe, York YO23 2, Royaume-Uni

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Tadcaster Road Extra, Opposite York College

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Shopping in Bishopthorpe

Besides an array of small shops, Bishopthorpe has a small Co-op supermarket in the Main Street, a large Tesco supermarket just beyond York College, and the York Designer Outlet shopping mall only a few minutes drive away.

You'll also find:

  • A fish and chip shop
  • Estate agents
  • Hairdressers
  • Barbers
  • Newsagents

Sports clubs and keep fit in Bishopthorpe

Bishopthorpe may be small but it has a whole range of sports facilities.

  • Bishopthorpe Bowling Club
  • Bishopthorpe Cricket Club
  • Bishopthorpe United Football Club
  • Bishopthorpe Tennis Club
  • Zumba by Kasia Scott takes place Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings

Social clubs and events

These are just a few of the social clubs in Bish - I'm certain there are many more - I know for a fact that there is a thriving art club and Zumba dancing!

  • Quench Cafe Thursdays 9.00 - 12.00 Methodist Church Hall
  • Cafe Church 4th Sunday of month 6.30pm usually in St Andrew's Church Hall
  • Bishopthorpe Camera Club
  • Bishopthorpe Scout Group

Football field at Bishopthorpe

Join Bishopthorpe United Football Club
Join Bishopthorpe United Football Club | Source

Bishopthorpe Bowling Club

Join Bishopthorpe Bowling Club
Join Bishopthorpe Bowling Club | Source

Other amenities and services

Bishopthorpe Library is a great local amenity

Bishopthorpe Library
Bishopthorpe Library | Source
Sustrans cycle track runs past Bishopthorpe
Sustrans cycle track runs past Bishopthorpe

Bishopthorpe Public Transport


First Buses Number 11 More info...

Harrogate Coach Travel Number 21

Footpaths and Cycle routes

Bishopthorpe is situated on the Sustrans Solar System Cycle Track which runs from York to Riccall and is part of the National Cycle Network and Trans-Pennine Way. You can use this path to walk to York College and Tescos. If you continue you'll arrive in York and the flat, easy walk takes about an hour. Part of this is along the roads, but much of the walk is on footpaths or by-roads. In the opposite direction you can walk across fields to Acaster Melbis and follow the cycle track to Ricall. .

There are also footpaths along the river side. Have a look at this OS map. Make, mark and save your own Google Maps; this article shows you in simple step-by-step pictures how: How to mark a route on Google Maps

Blackwood Hall Bed & Breakfast, Skipwith nr York
Blackwood Hall Bed & Breakfast, Skipwith nr York | Source

Bed and Breakfast near Bishopthorpe?

Blackwood Hall

Why not treat yourself with a touch of luxury of times gone by?

Blackwood Hall is a wonderful Georgian country home situated between Selby and York that is now being run as a Bed and Breakfast near Bishopthorpe. It' owned by my sister (really!). There's plenty of secure parking in the 14 acre grounds, complete with small lake, and the house is opposite Skipwith Common where you can see wild ponies.

Have a look at the website here: Blackwood Hall Contact directly Tel: 07734787831

Other places to stay near Bishopthorpe

Bentham Lodge Guest House

York Lakeside Lodges Riverside Caravan and Camping Site

Moore End Farm

Quirky facts about Bishopthorpe

  • Bishopthorpe features prominently in the novel "The Lost Luggage Porter" by Andrew Martin
  • There is a Bishopthorpe Manor in Australia. In 1870 Bishopthorpe Manor was built as a home for Goulburn's first bishop of the Church of England, Mesac Thomas. The design was based on rectories and bishop's palaces Thomas had known in England and it served as a home and also as the headquarters for diocesan administration. Goulburn, is two hours south-west of Sydney.

If you have anything to add to this article, do leave a message in the comments box below. I'd love to hear from you.

York crematorium

York Crematorium is just off the A64 on Bishopthorpe Road near the village of Bishopthorpe and Bishopthorpe Palace.

Bishopthorpe Cottage gardens

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A cottage garden in School Lane, Bishopthorpe Cottage gardens on Main Street, Bishopthorpe next to the old Post Office
A cottage garden in School Lane, Bishopthorpe
A cottage garden in School Lane, Bishopthorpe | Source
Cottage gardens on Main Street, Bishopthorpe next to the old Post Office
Cottage gardens on Main Street, Bishopthorpe next to the old Post Office | Source

Cottage gardens in Bishopthorpe

One feature of Bishopthorpe is the beautiful cottages and many of these cottages have pretty cottage gardens. These gardens look lovely in June/July when I took these photographs. They are a mass of traditional English cottage garden plants and flowers and are a joy to behold.

So much more

There is so much more to see and do in Bishopthorpe. So much more to know and local people are the best to ask, so if you think there is something I should add to this introductory article, then leave a message in the box below and I'll add it to this article, or even start another article. I'm happy to add links, all free of charge, of course.

If you need more information, the Library is a great place to start and the staff couldn't be more pleasant or helpful. You'll also find computer access there, and if you're not too sure about using them, the staff will always be there to give you all the support you need.

© 2011 Les Trois Chenes

Have you ever been to Bishopthorpe?

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    • Les Trois Chenes profile imageAUTHOR

      Les Trois Chenes 

      9 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Many thanks for your comments, Alun. It is nice to get out and about if you have time. The problem is there's just so much to choose from when you go to York.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 

      9 years ago from Essex, UK

      This page I'm sure would be of interest to many who are spending a few days in or around York. Whatever the attractions of a city like York, there is always the need for a break in the countryside, and to see a bit of English heritage away from the built-up areas, would be a welcome break.

      I like the ghost. (I don't believe in ghosts, but it's an intriguing image)!

    • Les Trois Chenes profile imageAUTHOR

      Les Trois Chenes 

      10 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Too true, James, ruins are often so much more romantic than the building was when whole! Many thanks for dropping by and leaving these kind words.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      10 years ago from Chicago

      How beautiful even are the ruins of the second church of St Andrew. The Palace of Bishopthorpe is also an exquisite piece of architecture.

      I enjoyed this journey very much. Thank you for this pleasure.


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