New booklet published to chart the history of Ely’s Old Bishop’s Palace

TO MARK the re-opening of the Old Bishop’s Palace as King’s Ely’s new Sixth Form centre, Ely Society has published a booklet charting its history.

Called A History of the Bishop’s Palace at Ely: Prelates and Prisoners, the booklet was written by Francis Young, the Assistant Director of Sixth Form at King’s Ely.

Francis will be speaking to Ely Society about the Palace, and its history and development between 1486 and 1781, at the Methodist Church Hall on Wednesday October 10 at 7.30pm.

The booklet reveals that the Palace was built by Bishop Alcock in the 15th century, and was once part of a much larger complex of buildings including a now-demolished great hall.

It was turned into a prison for Catholics by Queen Elizabeth I, and later, Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers ripped the lead roof off the building to make shot.

In 1940 the Palace became a Red Cross Hospital and, after the Second World War it was used as a school for disabled children. From 1983 until it was acquired by King’s Ely in 2010, the Palace was a Sue Ryder care home.

The booklet is on sale in Burrow’s Bookshop, Topping’s Bookshop, the Cathedral Shop and Ely Tourist Information Centre in Oliver Cromwell’s House, priced �3.99.