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Pismere Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Piswell Castle

In the civil parish of Beccles.
In the historic county of Suffolk.
Modern Authority of Suffolk.
1974 county of Suffolk.
Medieval County of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TM43128940
Latitude 52.44870° Longitude 1.57654°

Pismere Castle has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


Suffolk HER record of possible medieval castle or manor house.

Pismere Castle, recorded in dissolution and manorial documents (S1).
Castle Farm (Listed Building, farmhouse and folly of circa 1800) shown on 1880s OS map at TM 4312 8940 on Castle Lane (now Coney Hill).
Pesmere Mere on estate map of 1630 - drained later in 17th century. Site of mere could be (?) area of 1 acre shown on tithe map off Banham Road (on top of ridge, S of Beccles) where symmetrical rough ground (note road to NW named Castle Hill).
Pismere/Piswell Castle was a sub-manor of Beccles - in 1657 owned by Robert Yallop; circa 1800 owned by Robert Sparrow (annexed to Worlingham Manor)(S2), then to Archibald 2nd Earl of Gosford (by marriage).
Other dates recorded in Suffolk Record Office (Lowestoft)? (Suffolk HER)

Site now built over, even the road has changed its name from Castle Lane, on 1st edn OS map, to Coney Hill (although a Castle Hill road name exists slightly to the north). The map reference given is for Castle Farmhouse, an early C19 house with a circular castellated tower. The castle place-name seems to be earlier than this building and presumably, the building takes its name and architectural fancy from the earlier place-name, although it may well not be on the site of the medieval manor house, although nothing on the 1890 map would suggest an alternative site, indeed a narrow linear pond shown by the farm might be a relic of a moat. What the actual form of the medieval manor house was is unknown but, given this was a small sub-manor, unlikely to have been anything other than a modest moated house - indeed the name of the manor (which has disappeared from modern maps), which in latin could be translated as horse piss, and even in Saxon english was not much more pleasant, does suggest an ironic use of the term castle. The Suffolk HER does record that there was a mere (lake) hereabouts.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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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 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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