East Meon Court House

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are major building remains

NameEast Meon Court House
Alternative Names
Historic CountryHampshire and the Isle of Wight
Modern AuthorityHampshire
1974 AuthorityHampshire
Civil ParishEast Meon

House. C14 Ecclesiastical court house, with late C16 timber framed house attached to the east side, C17 and C18 minor changes, and early C20 minor extensions and restoration. Walls of malmstone and flint rubble with stone dress- ings; plinth, mullion and transom tall windows with cusped head; small single and coupled windows with cusped heads (some restored), doorways with pointed arches: brick C17 stack and minor dressings, exposed frame with brick infill, brick wall- ing in Flemish bond, C20 flint walls. Tile roof, mostly gables, some hips. Large open hall of three bays, with fireplace at one end, two windows each side, and doorways at the north end; north end cross wing of two storeys (solar above buttery) with smaller wing beyond of two storeys; to the east, linked by a passageway, there is a 'farmhouse' building of two storeys irregular fenestration, and to the north the passageway continues to the entrance (associated with Court House Cottage). Casements of various sizes, with mostly C20 leaded lights. Plain doorways. The interior of the hall (unused) is virtually original, of flintwork with stone dressings, with a C15 fireplace inserted at the south end, having a frieze of six panels containing quatrefoils: the north end has two doorways with pointed arches. The open timber roof has King-posts and massive tie beams with arch braces, resting on stone brackets, formed as carved heads of kings and bishops. The solar (library) is of three bays, with open king post roof, a large stone original fireplace and windows to the end gables and each side, a doorway leads to the small wing (upper floor). Below the solar the buttery has bare walls and original features (one blocked window) and doorways to hall and small wing. The eastern part is of vernacular form, of two storeys and one storey and attic, irregular fenestration, mainly C20 casements but a few smaller older lights

The frame shows inside and outside and there are C17 oak doors and C18 moulded dadoes; in one part, the heavy vertical boarding is possibly part of the hall screen. (Listed Building Report)

'The manor-house called the Court House,' in which the courts-leet and the courts-baron of the manor were held, remains practically unchanged from that day. It was described then as 'being strongly built with stone, having a large hall, a large parlour, a dining-room, a kitchen, a buttery, a larder, a day-house, a kill, three lodging-chambers, a corn chamber, a cheese-chamber, with some other little rooms. Before the entrance of the house is a gatehouse with three rooms thereunto belonging. The roof of the house is much out of repair. The site consisting of two little gardens, and a hopyard and two little courts west before the house, lying all together, between the street of East Meon on the west, and a field called the Berry Garden on the east. Near unto the same on the north-west is the church, and on the north is the highway called Hyde Lane, and on the south is a piece of ground called Dovegarden containing together one acre. This farm hath always been let tithe free.' (VCH quoting a survey of 1647)

Gatehouse Comments

Ecclesiastical court house whose origins date from Norman Conquest, or earlier. Demense property of the Bishops of Winchester. There was a deer park at East Meon and this house and its ancillary buildings was likely more than just a court house and/or steward residence although residential use by the bishops does seem to have been slight.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 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 ReferenceSU681222
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Copyright Herry Lawford and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image
Copyright Herry Lawford and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons license.View full Sized Image

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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. 333-6, 430-34
  • Roberts, E., 2003, Hampshire Houses 1250-1700: Their Dating and Development (Winchester: Hampshire County Council)
  • Keevill, Graham D., 2000, Medieval Palaces, An Archaeology (Stroud; Tempus) p. 17
  • James, T.B., 1990, The Palaces of Medieval England (London; Seaby) p. 88, 136
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 6, 130-2, 186
  • Pevsner, N. and Lloyd, D., 1973, Buildings of England: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (Harmondsworth) p. 200-201
  • Wood, M., 1965, The English Mediaeval House (Phoenix House) passim_
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1908, VCH Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Vol. 3 p. 65-66 online transcription


  • Roberts, E., 1993, 'William of Wykeham's house at East Meon, Hants' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 150 p. 456-81
  • Faulkner, P.A., 1967, 'Warnford, King John's House; East Meon Court House' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 123 p. 190-1
  • Oswald, A., 1937 May, Country Life


  • 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)