Record Details

NHER Number:5555
Type of record:Monument
Name:Gaywood Hall


A hall of 1851, built on the site of a medieval moated Bishop's Palace. Excavations prior to building works in the late 20th century found traces of thick wall foundations and large quantities of medieval pottery, coins and so on. Also found were fragments of a 14th century marble pillar. The house itself has had various uses since the 1930s, and is currently the Norfolk College of Arts and Technology.


  • The mid 19th century facade of Gaywood Hall  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:TF 6380 2005
Map Sheet:TF62SW

Full description

Great house on site of Bishop's Palace, formerly moated. Licence to crenellate granted 29 December 1387. Information from (S5).

Animal engine house attached.

Transcript of 19th century letter (S1) in file. Architectural plans (S3) and press cutting (S4) in file.

1985. Geophysical Survey.
Resistivity survey.
See report (S2) for further details.
E. Rose, 25 October 1994.

May-June 1984. Watching Brief.
Excavations for extension revealed much medieval masonry, pottery, coin, plus prehistoric sherds and a small assemblage of Mesolithic or Neolithic worked flints.
See details in file.
Finds from this work are now held by the King's Lynn Museum (KILLM : 1986.11.10-15).
Amended by P. Watkins (HES), 6 March 2014.

1994. Geophysical Survey.
Resisitivity and gradiometer survey undertaken as part of evaluation in advance of proposed new building.
See report (S7) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 23 February 2014.

March 2012.
Listing application for Gaywood Hall and a scheduling application for the Bishop's Palace submitted to English Heritage.
Media notices indicate that the Council are willing to dispose of the Borough nurseries site (the old Hall kitchen gardens) with "planning permission pending" for eight detached houses.
Although the scheduling application covers only the Hall grounds, the inner moat line is almost certainly under the nurseries site alongside the boundary with the Hall grounds; the outer moat line may also lie under it (S6).
D. Gurney (HES), 19 March 2012.

April 2018. Trial Trenching.
Evaluation of Gaywood Nursery site (formerly the hall's kitchen gardens), ahead of its proposed development.
A large infilled feature was identified, the depth and form of which could not be established. Its date is also uncertain as finds were limited to three post-medieval pottery sherds, all of which were recovered from a dump of charcoal-rich material within the uppermost part of the feature. It therefore remains possible that this was either a section of moat or a fish pond associated with the medieval Bishop’s Palace. It is certainly possibly that it is a north-to-south aligned feature, which would be the expected orientation of the section of moat thought to have passed through this part of the site.
An undated north-to-south aligned ditch lay immediately to the east of the large feature.
Evidence that was probably associated with the site’s use as a kitchen garden from the mid-19th century onwards included the remains of paths, features interpreted as planting beds and a single post-hole. The positions of these features clearly correspond with those depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map.
No other finds were recovered.
The archive associated with this work is to be donated to the Norwich Castle Museum (NWHCM : 2018.93).
See report (S8) for further details.
P. Watkins (HES), 11 November 2018.

Monument Types

  • DITCH (Unknown date)
  • FINDSPOT (Early Mesolithic to Late Neolithic - 10000 BC to 2351 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • BANK (EARTHWORK) (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BISHOPS PALACE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • MOAT (Medieval - 1066 AD? to 1539 AD?)
  • ANIMAL POWER SITE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • BUILDING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN FEATURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GARDEN FEATURE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • GREAT HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Finds

  • CORE? (Early Mesolithic to Late Neolithic - 10000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • FLAKE (Early Mesolithic to Late Neolithic - 10000 BC? to 2351 BC?)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • ARCHITECTURAL FRAGMENT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Article in Serial: Bradfer-Lawrence, H. L. 1931. Gaywood Dragge, 1486-7. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXIV Pt II pp 146-183. p 146.
---Documentary Source: Martin, T. c. 1700-1799. Collections of Church Notes. Norfolk Records Office. 1740.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 62 SW 37.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Photograph: Rose, E.. 2004. [unknown].
---Monograph: Pevsner, N and Wilson, W. 1999. Norfolk 2: North-West and South. The Buildings of England. 2nd Edition. p 356.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---*Rolled Plan: Large Plan Exists.
---Photograph: CSX.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Unpublished Document: Transcript of 19th century letter.
<S2>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shiel, D. 1986. Resistivity Survey at Gaywood Hall, King's Lynn, Norfolk. Ancient Monuments Laboratory. 42/86.
<S3>Illustration: Various. Various. Architectural plans.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1980. Positive evidence of bishop's palace. 1 February.
<S5>Website: Davis, P..
<S6>*Verbal Communication: James, Elizabeth. 2012. [unknown].
<S7>Unpublished Contractor Report: Shiel, D. 1994. Report on Geophysical Survey. Gaywood Hall, Norfolk College. Geophysical Surveys of Bradford. 94/82.
<S8>Unpublished Contractor Report: Telford, A. 2018. Archaeological Evaluation Report: Trial Trenching on land at Gaywood Nurseries, King’s Lynn, Norfolk. Allen Archaeology. AAL2018086.

Related records - none

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