Whitbourne Court

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop), and also as a Certain Fortified Manor House

There are earthwork remains

NameWhitbourne Court
Alternative Names
Historic CountryHerefordshire
Modern AuthorityHerefordshire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishWhitbourne

The site is that of a manor house of the Bishop of Hereford. It is largely C18 and C19, but incorporates some medieval and C17 work including early C17 panelling and fireplace and overmantel with fluted pilasters. The roof of the central block incorporates C16 or earlier work. It is of irregular plan, faced in roughcast with slate roof. Front of five unequal gables one of which is hipped. Two storeys. Various sash windows, fielded panel door with windows to sides (Listed Building Report)

Medieval moated site, a palace or manor house of the Bishops of Hereford, built in a park which was disparked in 1620. The present house is mainly C18/C19 but contains some Medieval and C16 remains. The north-western side of the moat has been filled, but much of the rest, its island and a small pond to the south-east are extant. (PastScape)

Whitbourne Court: so many additions to orig building that nothing outstanding remains. Harrington excavated area in garden ESE of house early 1920s & discovered walling which is prob foundations of Bishops Palace. No trace remains on surface. Only 3 arms of moat remain, NW arm filled in. NE arm contained by bank 0.7m high & 3.4m deep to water. Outer scarp rises 2.0m out of moat, which orig went around S & E sides of island. Island created early 1800s. Causeway appears at SO72645678 whenever moat drained, does not connect with present inner bank. House stands on site of manor house of Bishops of Hereford. V largely modern building, but incorporates some work in central range which may be medieval, & block of masonry in N wing is perhaps same age. Inside building S room, above hall, lined with E C17 panelling, fireplace has fluted side pilasters, middle bay has oval panel with straps....some reused C17 doors. Roof of central block incorporates work of C16 or earlier, incl 2 trusses with curved braces & cambered collars. Moat encloses oval island, except on W side where filled

Traces of inner bank on NE side of island (RCHME). Dr Bisse (d 1721) last to use palace. Greater part of house has lately been built of brick, stands on site of Bishops Palace, loft which now remains still called Birche's Hole (Col B concealed himself from royalists). Bishops had palace here built of stone, built in pleasant park, part of which supposed to be vineyard. Enclosed & converted 1620. Palace defended by deep moat (part of which remains) with drawbridge etc. (Duncumb). (Herefordshire SMR)

Gatehouse Comments

Bishops had palace here built of stone, built in pleasant park, part of which was supposed to be vineyard. The circular moat is notably strong.

- 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
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO726568
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  • Shoesmith, Ron, 2009 (Rev edn.), Castles and Moated Sites of Herefordshire (Logaston Press) p. 287
  • Whitehead, D. and Patton, J. (eds), 2001, A Survey of Historic Parks and Gardens in Herefordshire (Hereford and Worcester Gardens Trust)
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 512-14
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 178
  • 1981, Herefordshire Countryside Treasures (Hereford and Worcester County Council) p. 36
  • RCHME, 1932, An inventory of the historical monuments in Herefordshire Vol. 2: east p. 214 no. 2 online transcription
  • Gould, I. Chalkley, 1908, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Herefordshire Vol. 1 p. 256 (plan)
  • Robinson, Rev. C. J., 1872, A History of the Mansions and Manors of Herefordshire p. 300
  • Duncumb, John, 1812, Collections towards the history and antiquities of the county of Hereford Vol. 2 Broxash Hundred, Ewyas Lacy Hundred and part of Greytree Hundred p. 235- online copy


  • Tonkin, J.W., 1976, 'The palaces of the bishop of Hereford' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 42.1 p. 53-64
  • Williams, Phyllis, 1972, 'Land Tenure in the Bishop's Manor of Whitbourne' Transactions of the Woolhope Naturalists' Field Club Vol40.3 p. 333-53


  • 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)