Record Details

NHER Number:10794
Type of record:Monument
Name:Site of medieval bishops' palace


This location is thought to be the site of the palace of the East Anglian bishops, given to them sometime before 1066. Surviving earthworks take the form of a series of incomplete ditched enclosures and a pond-like depression, with some bank features visible on aerial photographs. Some brick and tile fragments have also been recovered as further evidence of this building. Metal detecting at this site in 1993 and 1996 has recovered a diverse range of finds including a Saxon girdle hanger, three medieval buckles and a sword-belt fastener and a post medieval lead cloth seal.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TM 0251 8892
Map Sheet:TM08NW

Full description

Bishop's Manor House (site only) pre Dissolution.
685m (750yds) east of Hall.
Marked on (S1).
R. R. Clarke (NCM).

Earthworks noted by (S2) and OS 1973.
E. Rose (NLA).

Site of Bishops Palace as marked on NHER would appear to extend as current earthworks into field to west.
Series of mostly incomplete ditched enclosures, one particularly, extending as a higher area into the low lying carr. A 7m x 28m pond like depression exists in the northwest corner of this undulating enclosure.
Ditches generally 0.3-0.5m deep, variable width. Some brick and tile fragments and two pot sherds from this enclosure.
Causeway extends from west to a possible entrance into the above enclosure.
Original area now ploughed - not walked.
Nine peg roof tile, medieval.
Two unglazed medieval pottery.
Identified by A. Rogerson (NLA) 12 March 1993.
B. Cushion (NLA) March 1993.

1993. Metal detecting.
Five Roman coins. See list in file. Identified by J. A. Davies (NCM) 31 June 1993.
Romano-British Nail cleaner.
Saxon girdle hanger and strap end.
Three medieval buckles, two belt slides and sword-belt fastener.
Three post medieval buckles, cloth seal and lead disc with camel depicted!
See file for full details of finds.
T. Sunley (NLA) 11 January 2007.

1996. Metal detecting at location [1].
Medieval copper alloy ring brooch. Round section frame with abrupt narrowing for pin loop. Tapering round section pin with square collar near loop. External diameter of 27.5mm.
Polaroid (S3) in file.
Identified by A. Rogerson (NLA) 30 July 1996.
T. Sunley (NLA) 11 January 2007.

Under pasture, some infilling of ditch with farm debris. This to be removed under supervision of Helen Paterson (NLA).
H. Paterson (NLA) 16 September 1997.

October 1999 Earthwork survey at 1:1000 and report in file. Limestone fragment found.
See also (S4).
B. Cushion (NLA) 20 October 1999.

June 2000. Visit.
No further infilling of features. Area to South partly infilled with farm waste noted in 1997, now grassed over, and noted on Brian Cushion's survey of 1999.
Removal would probably be difficult and cause damage to profile of earthworks, so no intervention to be undertaken.
H. Paterson (NLA) 6 June 2000.

July 2012. Norfolk NMP.
The earthworks described above are visible on aerial photographs (S5-S10). They have been mapped as it was possible to make several small additions to those recorded in the earthwork survey of 1999 (S2).
Certainly, the south-western corner of the site appears to be visible more clearly than during the earthwork survey, and it was possible to map three linear bank features centred on TM 0232 8895 which had not been previously recorded, along with the extensions of two ditch features which make up another enclosure, centred on TM 0234 8889.
Further linear ditches, although these may be related to drainage, are visible in the field to the east, centred on TM 0266 8897.
A curvilinear ditch feature which has been suggested formed a medieval edge to the carr to the north, (S2), has been recorded as NHER 57387.
It is also notable that a Late Saxon to medieval manorial site has been identified from cropmarks, c. 500m to the northwest, in close proximity to St Mary’s Church (NHER 57386).
E. Bales (NMP), 04 July 2012.

Monument Types

  • CAUSEWAY (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • EARTHWORK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ENCLOSURE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MANOR (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PIT? (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • POND (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • NAIL CLEANER (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • GIRDLE HANGER (Saxon - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Saxon - 410 AD to 1065 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BROOCH (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOUNT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ROOF TILE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • CLOTH SEAL (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • DISC (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status


Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TM 08 0389 B.
---Serial: Blomefield, F. 1805. An Essay Towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk. Vol I. p 405.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TM 08 NW 9.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Medieval. Quidenham.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Map: Ordnance Survey. 1824-1836. Ordnance Survey First Edition 1 inch..
<S2>Monograph: Cushion, B. and Davison, A. 2003. Earthworks of Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 104. p 97.
<S3>Photograph: NCC Find Identification and Recording Service. c. 1975-2000. HES Find Polaroid Collection. HES Find Polaroid Collection. polaroid. black and white.
<S4>Article in Serial: Gurney, D. and Penn, K. (eds). 2000. Excavations and Surveys in Norfolk 1999. Norfolk Archaeology. XLIII Pt III pp 521-543. p 535.
<S5>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7PH/GP/LOC264 5012-3 31-MAR-1944 (NMR).
<S6>Vertical Aerial Photograph: USAAF. 1944. US/7PH/GP/LOC276 5040 18-APR-1944 (NMR).
<S7>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 3G/TUD/UK/59 5079-80 05-FEB-1946 (NMR).
<S8>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1634 4376-7 09-JUL-1946 (NMR).
<S9>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1946. RAF 106G/UK/1707 4154-5 29-AUG-1946 (NMR).
<S10>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/1938 4038-9 18-JAN-1947 (NMR).

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2023 Norfolk Historic Environment Service