Willingham Manor of the Bishop of Ely

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are no visible remains

NameWillingham Manor of the Bishop of Ely
Alternative NamesWillington
Historic CountryCambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely
Modern AuthorityCambridgeshire
1974 AuthorityCambridgeshire
Civil ParishWillingham

Residential manor of the medieval bishops of Ely, listed by Thompson.

In 1238 the king gave 50 oaks to the bishop of Ely to rebuild his houses at Willingham. The manor house, standing north of the church in an enclosure known later as Lordship close, was substantial enough in 1244 to accommodate the king's household. In 1357 it included a hall with chambers at its upper and lower ends, a kitchen, and other rooms called the 'knyghtchambre' and 'clerkchambre', mostly in good repair, and a dilapidated treasury and chapel. Inquisitions were held there in 1370 and 1371, but it was afterwards abandoned by the bishops, who were leasing their demesne by c. 1480. In 1592 the close contained three houses and a barn. The south-west part of the close was used to extend the churchyard in 1866. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

Despite being a substantial house in use for many centuries and being well documented nothing seems to survive and it is not recorded in PastScape or the Cambs. HER.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTL405706
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  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 176 (where wrongly called Willington)
  • Wright, A.P.M. and Lewis, C.P. (eds), 1989, 'Willingham: Manors and other estate' VCH Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely Vol. 9 p. 402-4 online transcription


  • 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)