The Royal Hotel and the Bishops Palace
During the Middle Ages, the Bishop of Hereford would visit Ross and stay in the Bishops Palace. This so called 'palace', which does not exist anymore and was where the Royal Hotel now stands. It used to cover the area between the west end of St. Maryís Church and the north end of the Prospect and was really a large and impressive house. It must have had excellent views out over the horse shoe bend in the river, just like the Royal Hotel does today, due to its location on one of the highest points in Ross, right on the top of the sand stone cliff.
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The Palace was built of timber with a gateway with a porterís lodge and a second small building which had a dungeon for priests who had displeased the Bishop. The palace was where locals paid their taxes and was also where the Bishop resided with his large household as the Bishop was considered an important lord.
By the 16th century it was in ruins but the small building and dungeon survived until the 18th century and at this time the area was known as the Bishops Court.
During the building of the Royal Hotel in 1837, a vaulted cell was found 7 feet below the surface measuring about 16 by 12 feet with 5 foot thick walls with large chain rings mounted in the walls and the only entrance was in the roof. This is likely to have been one of the cells under the palace and it must have been a formidable holding cell.
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The Royal Hotel courtyard, entered via the arch just seen on the left of the photo, used to be the entrance to a bus depot that was run from the site. People from the town were able to catch the bus in front of the buildings seen to the left of the arch. There were also a set of petrol pumps especially for refueling the buses positioned there.
[Page updated: Feb 15 2011 13:31:59]