Roydon Hall

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameRoydon Hall
Alternative NamesRidon; The Rey
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishRoydon

It appears from a MS. of William de Worcester, alias Boloner, who lived in the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV. that he was in the retinue and family of Sir John Fastolfe, Knt. of the Garter, (his herald, and one of his executors,) that this John Wodehouse built here a large and most royal and beautiful manor-house, called the Rey, on the river hereby, which cost him above 2000 marks sterling, with stately offices, &c about a mile from Rising, in which he died in 1430; and that this noble edifice was entirely destroyed, and pulled down to the ground, by the advice and assistance of Thomas Lord Scales, about September 21, 1454, by the consent of the heir of the founder, and his particular friend; the reason assigned is, that Thomas Danyel, Esq. of Lancashire, late sheriff of Norfolk, by the assistance and power of John (Mowbray) Duke of Norfolk, on account of his marrying a kinswoman of the said Duke, pretending a right and title to the said lordship, falsely asserting that Wodehouse, the heir to his father, (the founder) had given it to him. On this pretence he several times entered the same by force, and a great army of the Duke. And this the Lord Scales did out of a good intention, though much to the loss and damage of Wodehouse's heir. Upon this Presumably the said Thomas Daniel became lord, and was also constable of Rising castle, &c. but on the accession of Edward IV. the said Thomas is said to have been attainted, and it was then most likely granted to Anthony Woodvile, who was created Lord Scales, having married Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Thomas Lord Scales, abovementioned; on the death of this lady, in the 13th of Edward IV. it was found that she held this manor of Rydon; and Anthony Lord Scales, &c. in her right presented to this rectory in 1473 and 1479


The Rey is a moated manor site, originally constructed around 1400 by John Wodehouse, and according to William of Worcester demolished in 1454 by Lord Scales because of land disputes, the materials being used to build Middleton Towers. A licence to crenellate and empark was issued in 1447 for this site to Thomas Daniel, King's squire. This suggests that following the destruction of the original by Lord Scales, the manor was rebuilt. The rectangular moat was recorded by Ordnance Survey, although by 1974 aerial photographs showed only two sides remaining, and the third visible as cropmark. A site visit in 1979 recorded that the moat had been completely destroyed. Analysis of the aerial photography indicates that the fourth, western side, of the moat was infilled with stone, or compacted material, possibly building rubble. The main moat was also surrounded by several rectilinear enclosures and associated linear features. These may have been related to the layout of buildings and gardens associated with the manor. Unfortunately only a handful of coins and pottery sherds have survived from any of the buildings that once stood on this site. (Norfolk HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Licence to crenellate granted to Thomas Daniell in 1447. This house was razed to the ground in 1454. Daniell may have been intending to add to the existing manor and may well have done so although this licences was much more use to him as a sign of royal confirmation of his holding this contested manor. The destruction of the manor seven years after the licence seems to have been motivated by destroying any work of Daniell's so as to entirely remove any claim he might have. There does not seem to be any reason to believe the house was rebuilt after 1454. Misidentifed in the Gatehouse website, before Feb 2011, as Roydon Hall near Diss.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTF696230
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Liddiard, R., 2000, Landscapes of Lordship (British Archaeological Reports British Series 309) p. 108
  • 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)
  • Blomefield, F., 1808, 'Freebridge Hundred: Reydon, or Rydon' An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk Vol. 9 p. 59-62 (tenurial history) online transcription

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1927, Calendar of Charter Rolls 5 Henry VI - 8 Henry VIII, AD 1427-1516, with an appendix, 1215-1288 Vol. 6. (HMSO) p. 80-1 online copy