Bitterne Bishops Palace

Has been described as a Possible Masonry Castle, and also as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameBitterne Bishops Palace
Alternative NamesManor House
Historic CountryHampshire and the Isle of Wight
Modern AuthoritySouthampton; City of
1974 AuthorityHampshire
Civil ParishSouthampton

This dates from the C13, on the site of the Roman Port of Clausentum, and was a manor house of the Bishops of Winchester. This was much restored in 1864, damaged in the second World War and subsequently reconstructed out of old materials. Two storeys built of stone rubble. Gable ended. Modern tiled roof with 5 modern dormers. Six modern mullioned and transomed windows. Modern doorcase with 4 centred archway having the datestone 1952 above it. On the left-hand side is a C13 blank lancet window and a portion of rough rubble walling. The interior is modern. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Much altered large square tower has some C13 remains. Possible castle built originally within Roman wall and ditch of Clausentum. Site of episcopal house, possibly fortified, of C13 date. A documentary source of 1207-8 refers to a great house, with cloister, courtyard, kitchen, chapel, and barns. According to Leland 'sumtyme a castelle'. Remains within Roman shore fort of Clausentum. The Roman walls and earthwork defences may still have been in existence in the middle ages but this site was readily accessible from the River Itchen and hardly defensible. However this location does mean this house of the bishops had an important economic function as a place for sea borne trade of the bishops estates.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU433133
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Calculate Print


  • Osborne, Mike, 2011, Defending Hampshire: The Military Landscape from Prehistory to the Present (Stroud: The History Press) p. 51, 244
  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 430-34
  • Roberts, E., 2003, Hampshire Houses 1250-1700: Their Dating and Development (Winchester: Hampshire County Council)
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of Wessex (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 38
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 186
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 195-6 (possible)
  • Pevsner, N. and Lloyd, D., 1973, Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (Harmondsworth) p. 597
  • Aubrey, E.R. (ed), 1909, Speed's History of Southampton (Southampton Record Society 8) p. 7
  • Englefield, H., 1805, 'Account of Antiquities discovered at Clausentum, etc.' in A walk through Southampton (Southampton: Baker and Fletcher) p. 107- online copy


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 206
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 280 online copy


  • Strutt, K.D. and Hay, S.A., 2004, 'Recent Geophysical Survey Work at the Site of Clausentum, Bitterne Park Manor, Southampton' CBA Wessex News p. 19
  • 1947, Antiquaries Journal Vol. 27 p. 151
  • Crawford, 1944-6, Proceeding of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 16 p. 148-55
  • 1937, Proceeding of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 13 p. 195
  • Fox, 1902, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries London Vol. 19 p. 7

Primary Sources

  • Hall, H. (ed), 1903, The Pipe Roll of the Bishops of Winchester 1207-8 p. 30-32
  • Hall, H. (ed), 1903, The Pipe Roll of the Bishops of Winchester 1208-9 p. 30-32 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)