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Sonning Bishops Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Sonnyng; Sunnyng

In the civil parish of Sonning.
In the historic county of Berkshire.
Modern Authority of Wokingham.
1974 county of Berkshire.
Medieval County of Berkshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU75467549
Latitude 51.47378° Longitude -0.91528°

Sonning Bishops Palace has been described as a certain Palace, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

Description

Site of the palace of the Bishops of Salisbury, revealed by excavations in 1912-14. The earliest remains found dated to C13, with alterations in C14 and C15. The main building was moated on three sides and bounded to the north by the Thames. No surface remains are now visible. (PastScape)

A plan of the Bishops residence at Sonning was drawn up by Keyser and Brakespear following excavations at the site between 1912 and 1914. The earliest works found in-situ date from the 13th century, when the house would appear to have consisted of a range running parallel to and on the south bank of the Thames with a first floor hall, chapel and solar and kitchen and offices beneath. The building was enlarged in the 14th century, and in 1337 Bishop Robert Wyvill obtained a license to crenellate. The house was defended by a moat on three sides and by the river on the north. A new hall with porch and oriel was added to the thirteenth century block either in the 15th century or in the 14th century and remodelled in the 15th century. The great gatehouse was rebuilt in Henry VII's reign with the walls surrounding the forecourt, and possibly the water gate on the north. Little is known of the house following the manor of Sonning and Eye being given to the crown in 1574, but ultimately it seems to have been allowed to fall into decay and a new house built to the south-ward with the old materials. (Berkshire Archaeology HER)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1337 Aug 30 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).
A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1377 July 20.

Comments

Attached deer park from at least C12.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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