Rycote House

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

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameRycote House
Alternative NamesRicott
Historic CountryOxfordshire
Modern AuthorityOxfordshire
1974 AuthorityOxfordshire
Civil ParishGreat Haseley

Large house. Early C16 (part possibly earlier) and C20. Brick with stone dressings; limestone rubble; old plain-tile roof with brick stacks. 3 ranges around a courtyard. Entrance front of right wing (main house), of 2 storeys plus attics in diaper brickwork with stone plinth, has 4-centre arched doorway with label, 2-light stone mullioned window to right (possibly re-set) and, above it, a 3-light mullioned window with label. Both windows have concave-moulded 4-centre arched lights with recessed spandrels and leaded lights. To left of door is a C20 sash with 2 more at first floor. Small C20 roof dormers. To right is a small contemporary 3-storey projecting wing with a 4-centre arched door in the angle, stone quoins, stepped gable with moulded copings and, at second floor, a corbelled chimney projection with a tall octagonal brick gable stack. The remainder of the range to left is probably largely rebuilt and is masked by a parallel C20 range of 4 windows in rubble with brick dressings. 3-window return front to right, in diaper brickwork with crenellated parapet and stepped gable of main range, has similar stone-mullioned windows with labels, the largest, of 5 lights, in the gable. Garden front at rear of range, in diaper brickwork with, deep early C18 plaster cove, has 3-window arrangement of sashes with tripartite sash to right of central door, all under renewed gauged brick flat arches. Immediately to left of door is a restored 2-light mullioned window with a single light above. To extreme right is a brick buttress with a stone bracket and ogee canopy and, beyond, a rebuilt 2-window section incorporating a 2-storey canted bay window and a 3-light stone-mullioned window. The 2-storey rubble central range has an irregular 7-window front with renewed casements. Similar 6-window range to left of courtyard includes a 3-light stone-mullioned window with leaded lights, and the remains of 3 small oak-framed windows at first floor

Gable wall has segmental-arched carriage door under a weatherboarded gable. Left end of centre range has a timber-framed gable with herringbone brick infill, and right end is enclosed by a small courtyard with walls of diaper brickwork incorporating re-set features. Interior: Main range has some coffered ceilings, a timber-framed partition including remains of 3 door frames with moulded chamfer stops, a 4-centre arched doorway with original door and hinge, and a butt-purlin roof. Other ranges have early clasped-purlin roofs of about 10 bays (centre) and 7 bays (left) with heavy curved struts rising from the framed lower collar to upper purlin, and with curved windbraces. The buildings formed part of the mansion probably re-built after 1521 by Sir John Heron, Treasurer to Henry VIII, and/or after 1539 by Sir John Williams (later Baron Williams of Thame), and are shown to the left and forward of the main house in views of c.1695 by Winstanley, marked "stables", and of 1714 by Kip. The main house was burned down in 1745. (Listed Building Report)

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 ReferenceSP667047
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Calculate Print


  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 457, 463
  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) p. 115
  • Pevsner, N. and Sherwood, J., 1974, Buildings of England: Oxfordshire (Harmondsworth) p. 748-9

Guide Books

  • Salmon, J., 1967, Rycote Chapel Guidebook


  • Time Team (Mike Aston et al), 2001, Feb 11 (1st broadcast), 'A Palace Sold for Scrap Rycote, Oxfordshire' Time Team TV Programme (Time Team, a Videotext/Picture House production for Channel 4) View online