Doddington Bishops Palace

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are earthwork remains

NameDoddington Bishops Palace
Alternative NamesManor House Moat
Historic CountryCambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely
Modern AuthorityCambridgeshire
1974 AuthorityCambridgeshire
Civil ParishDoddington

Buried and earthwork remains of a moated manor house documented during late C13. The buildings in existence in 1356 included the house and a chapel. The site was converted into a farm by C19. All the present buildings date to C19 and C20. The moated island now measures up to 104m by 106m, surrounded by a moat ranging from 6m to 12m in width. The arms have been greatly recut and shaped in recent years, and about 20m length of the west arm had been filled in. The original entrance was probably central to the west arm. (PastScape)

Doddington was one of the Bishop's principal residences ...survey made for Bishop de Fontibus (1221) ... Like most ecclesiastical manors it passed through a period of depression in the C14. The decline in prosperity seems to have set in about 1300. A survey of 1356 shows some recovery. The manor house itself consisted of a hall, principal chamber, cloister (claustera), pantry, buttery and other chamber. Enclosed within the same encircling wall were a kitchen, brewhouse, chapel, a lodging for the Knights and Esquires, dovehouse, granary and stables. In the wall was a gatehouse. All these buildings were in good repair. The rest of the manorial buildings however, which consisted of a grange, ox-house, two windmills, (one dating from 1300), a newly erected grindery, the park wall, and the vaccary at Stonea, were all more or less ruinous. As in the other manors where the Bishop had an actual residence, the customary tenants of Doddington had the duty of ferrying him to his next manor. ... In the later Middle Ages, the bishops ceased to use the manor house as an official residence. In 1493, Bishop Alcock leased it. ... In the second half of the C16 the... bishop was allowed to Keep Doddington palace ... but the manor was finally alienated c 1600. The manor house had ceased to be used as such before 1808 and was converted into a farm, but the Courts Leet and Baron were still being held there in 1827. ...

Letters Patent were dated at Benwick in 1314, presumably when Bishop Ketene was entertaining Edward II at Doddington Palace. (VCH 1953)

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 ReferenceTL407906
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  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 154
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 176
  • Pugh, R.B. (ed), 1953, 'North Witchford Hundred: Doddington' VCH Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely Vol. 4 p. 110-112 online transcription
  • Phillips, 1948, in Salzman, L.F. (ed), VCH Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely Vol. 2 p. 28


  • 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)
  • English Heritage, 2001. Scheduling record: Scheduled Monument - 2001.