Pismere Castle

Has been described as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

NamePismere Castle
Alternative NamesPiswell Castle
Historic CountrySuffolk
Modern AuthoritySuffolk
1974 AuthoritySuffolk
Civil ParishBeccles

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)

Gatehouse Comments

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.

- 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
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTM431894
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  • Goult, W., 1990, A Survey of Suffolk Parish History
  • Copinger, W.A.,1911, Manors of Suffolk Vol. 7 p. 161 online copy