Marwell Bishops Palace

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop)

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameMarwell Bishops Palace
Alternative NamesMarwell Manor
Historic CountryHampshire and the Isle of Wight
Modern AuthorityHampshire (City of Winchester)
1974 AuthorityHampshire
Civil ParishOwslebury

Although a large number of moated sites are known in England, relatively few survive in Hampshire. This site is particularly important as it survives well and displays an above average range of features. The importance of the site is considerably enhanced by the survival, on the moat island, of Marwell Manor, a listed building which is largely intact, and areas of medieval parkland surrounding the site with surviving archaeological features including the park pale. In addition, historical associations link the site with the Bishops of Winchester from the mid 10th to the late 16th century.

The monument includes a rectangular moated site with internal fishpond at Marwell Manor. The moat is well-preserved and partly wet although now landscaped in parts. The site is orientated north-south and has external dimensions of 160m north-south and 140m east-west. The area enclosed by the moat is c.130m by 110m. The moat averages 20m wide and has an external bank of similar width along the southern arm and at the southern end of the eastern and western arms. That on the eastern arm continues beyond the southern limit of the moated site for a further 100m and may represent part of the park boundary. In the south-west corner of the moat island is a fishpond 30m east-west by 20m north-south. The site was a major rural manor of the Bishops of Winchester from the mid 10th century to the late 16th century. It had an associated park from at least 1279 until the 17th century. (Scheduling Report)

There are occasional references to the bishop of Winchester's PARK of MARWELL. In 1280 an order was issued to William de Hamilton, guardian of the bishopric of Winchester, for the immediate deliverance of five oaks from the park of Marwell granted by Nicholas late bishop of Winchester to the sacristan of St. Swithun's Priory, for the works of the priory. In the Ministers' Accounts for the manor of Twyford for the year 1322 the following occurs: '39s. 6d

for animals pastured in the park of Marwell till Trinity.' In the sixteenth century a complaint was entered by William bishop of Winchester that Aumary St. Amand with others hunted in his park at Marwell where he had free warren. A park existed down to the middle of the seventeenth century, for in the court rolls for 1651 reference is made to the 'park of the President and Scholars of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, called the Coney Park.' (VCH)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceSU500209
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  • Osborne, Mike, 2011, Defending Hampshire: The Military Landscape from Prehistory to the Present (Stroud: The History Press) p. 244 (listed in Appendix)
  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 430-34
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 186
  • James, T.B., 1990, The Palaces of Medieval England (London; Seaby) p. 65
  • Pevsner, N. and Lloyd, D., 1973, Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (Harmondsworth)
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1908, VCH Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Vol. 3 p. 332-4 online transcription


  • 1940, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society Vol. 14 p. 274


  • Stamper, P.A., 1983, Medieval Hampshire - studies in landscape history (University of Southampton: PhD Thesis)