Orsett, Bishop Bonners Palace

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Certain Palace (Bishop)

There are earthwork remains

NameOrsett, Bishop Bonners Palace
Alternative Names
Historic CountryEssex
Modern AuthorityThurrock
1974 AuthorityEssex
Civil ParishOrsett

Ring and bailey earthwork. Comprises a circular enclosure (200ft internal diameter), surrounded by ditch c50ft wide. To the north an oblong bailey enclosed by a well-defined ditch, on the north side defences are strengthened by a second ditch. 'The work is said to be the site of a palace of the bishops of London'. The only building remains consist of a fragment of rubble foundation on the north-west side of the ringwork. In a wood, 200yds to the west, is a large oblong fish pond. In 1086 13 hides were held by the Bishop of London, but one of these held by Eustace de Boulogne. (Unlocking Essex's Past)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ641822
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Osbourne, Mike, 2013, Defending Essex (Stroud: The History Press) p. 24
  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 234 (mention)
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 37
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 180
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 146
  • RCHME, 1923, An inventory of the historical monuments in Essex Vol. 4 (south-east) p. 105 no. 2 (plan) online transcription
  • Gould, Chalkley, 1903, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Doubleday, Arthur and Page, Wm (eds), VCH Essex Vol. 1 p. 286 (mention as moats and banks) online copy


  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127


  • 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)