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The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
 
 
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North Elmham Bishops Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
North Elman

In the civil parish of North Elmham.
In the historic county of Norfolk.
Modern Authority of Norfolk.
1974 county of Norfolk.
Medieval County of Norfolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TF98812160
Latitude 52.75551° Longitude 0.94489°

North Elmham Bishops Castle has been described as a certain Palace, and also as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.

Description

Former church converted into a fortified manor house. Probably built by Bishop Herbert de Losinga (1091-1119) on the site of the Anglo-Saxon Cathedral of Elmham. Bishop Despencer, having obtained licence to crenellate, fortified the site c.1387. Ferruginous conglomerate with flint core and ashlar dressings. Brick dressings to C14 work. Roofless. Western tower with semicircular stair turret, aisleless nave, continuous transept with armpit towers and apse. Evidence for ashlar dressed tower and west transept arches, north and south nave doorways and entrances into armpit towers. C14 work includes a semicircular tower base matching the original stair turret and several masonry partitions with brick dressings. The site is surrounded by C14 earthworks. (Listed Building Report)

A Royal licence to crenellate may have been granted in 1327 (Click on the date for details of this supposed licence.).
A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1387 Dec 29.

Comments

Possibly included in the possible licence to crenellate issued to the Bishop of Norwich for all his manor houses in 1327, although doubtful any work done at that time and probably not even used as a residential manor until occupied by Bishop Despencer. The surrounding earthworks include a probably prospect mound.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 19/04/2017 07:42:48

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