Duke of Suffolks Palace, Kingston upon Hull

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Royal), and also as a Possible Fortified Town House

There are no visible remains

NameDuke of Suffolks Palace, Kingston upon Hull
Alternative NamesSuffolk Palace; de la Poles House; Courthall
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityKingston upon Hull; City of
1974 AuthorityHumberside
Civil ParishKingston upon Hull

Built 1296-1307 by Richard Oysel, second of Edward I's keepers of Hull, and passed to the de la Pole family circa 1330. The house was rebuilt circa 1380. An inventory of 1388 refers to a hall, summer hall, great chamber, numerous further chambers, a chapel, two wine cellars, a kitchen, a bakehouse, a granary and two dovecotes amongst various other buildings. Documentary sources from the mid 16th century describe the building as a mansion and depict it as a series of courtyards bounded by a wall and containing a gatehouse, great hall, and chamber blocks. The four storey gatehouse was built of brick and stone, as was the great hall which had a buttery and pantry to the east with a chamber above and a great chamber to the west. A magazine was recorded on the site in 1642. The majority of the buildings were demolished in the late 17th century, though the gatehouse survived until 1771. (PastScape)

Outstanding among the domestic houses of the town was the Pole family 'manorhouse' in Marketgate (later Lowgate). It was probably the house built at Myton for Edward I's keeper of Hull, which had been kept in repair in the early 14th century, and it presumably passed to the Poles when they acquired the manor of Myton about 1330. The house and grounds occupied a large, roughly triangular, area bounded by Marketgate, Bishopgate (now Bowlalley Lane), Beverley Street (a now-lost section of the street), and a common way running alongside the town wall. In 1347 the house (mansum) had a hall (aula) and chapel, and in the grounds was a 'gardenerhous'. The manor-house is said to have been rebuilt by Sir Michael de la Pole in the 1380s, and at about this time it became known as Courthall. An inventory of goods in the house in 1388 mentions the hall, the 'somerhalle', the chapel, a tower, and more than 20 chambers. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

An early copy of a 1530's map (said by some to be C14) may show this as a crenellated house. A birds eye view, drawn in the time of Henry VIII, is the source for the PastScape description. It also shows a semicircular turret on the perimeter wall with three ground level gunports covering Lowgate. Clearly, some security would be require for a magazine. The licence to crenellate of 1327 issued to the Burgesses of Hull confirming the licence for the town walls granted in 1321 gave additional licence to the burgesses to crenellate their houses with stone and brick. No specific house or burgess is mentioned but clearly this house is likely to have been included.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTA100288
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles and Tower Houses of Yorkshire (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 49
  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 356
  • Thurley, Simon, 1993, The Royal Palaces of Tudor England (Yale University Press) p. 50, 115, 116, 118, 119
  • Calvert, Hugh, 1978, A History of Kingston upon Hull: From the earliest times to the present day (Phillimore) p. 80-81
  • Allison, K.J. (ed), 1969, VCH Yorkshire: East Riding Vol. 1 p. 19, 54, 76-7, 79, 82, 102, 412 online transcription
  • Sheppard, Tho., 1911, The Evolution of Kingston upon Hull p. 36
  • Wildrige, 1884, Old and New Hull plates 35 and 36 (plates of the Cottonian plans)


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 535
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1907, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 1 p. 49 online copy


  • Davis, Philip, 2010-11, 'Crenellated town houses in Medieval England' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 24 p. 270-91

Primary Sources