Gaywood Hall, Kings Lynn

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop), and also as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NameGaywood Hall, Kings Lynn
Alternative NamesGaywode
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishKings Lynn

"In the reign of King Henry II (1154-1189), the Bishop of Norwich held Gaywood and Lynn in capite, and would not suffer the King's bailiffs or coroners to enter the lordship, where he had officers of his own, a gallows, assize of bread and beer, and other royalties. Bishop Grey built a palace on the site which is now occupied by Gaywood Hall. Some re-used material may be seen" (Messent) House, built in 1851 on the site of the medieval bishop's palace. The building has been used for various purposes since the 1930s and was extended in 1985. In 1385, Henry, Bishop of Norwich was granted a licence to crenellate his house at Gaywood. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Licence to crenellate granted to Henry, bishop of Norwich in 1388. This licences was also the one which produced the fortified house of North Elmham. Possibly included in the possible licence to crenellate issued to the Bishop of Norwich for all his manor houses in 1327. Building work in the 1380's would seem likely, less certain for the 1320's. C19 house on site. A survey of 1487 shows it consisted of two moated enclosures, the inner containing the domestic buildings.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTF638200
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (Shown on map of fortified houses of East Anglia as Destroyed) p. 131, 166
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 12, 113, 168, 181
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 312n12 (mention of licence)
  • Messent, C.J.W., 1934, Monastic remains of Norfolk and Suffolk p. 41
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 420 online copy
  • Blomefield, F., 1808, 'Freebridge Hundred and Half: Gaywode' An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk Vol. 8 p. 419-425 (tenurial history) online transcription


  • Bradfer-Lawrence, H.L., 1932, 'Gaywood Dragge' Norfolk Archaeology Vol. 24 p. 146-83

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1900, Calendar of Patent Rolls Richard II (1385-89) Vol. 3 p. 381 online copy


  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) Appendix B: List of Medieval Bishop's Palaces in England and Wales (available via EThOS)