Headstone Manor, Pinner

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are major building remains

NameHeadstone Manor, Pinner
Alternative NamesHeadstone House
Historic CountryLondon and Middlesex
Modern AuthorityLondon Borough of Harrow
1974 AuthorityGreater London
Civil ParishHarrow

Moated manor house first mentioned in 1396. Replaced Sudbury Court as the Archbishops of Canterbury main Middlesex residence during C14 and C15.

Headstone House formed part of the manor of Harrow, and not mentioned as a separate estate until the 14thc. The earliest mention of the manor of Harrow is 822 AD., when Wilfred Archbishop of Canterbury purchased Harrow and other lands to restore them to the church of Canterbury, from which they had been taken by Cenwulf King of the Mercians. The first actual mention of Headstone as a separate manor was in 1396, when it consisted of a well-built house and 201 acres of land. Court Rolls from 1278-1645 relating to the see of Canterbury say: In 1451 Headstone was in the occupation of Wm and Richard Redyng who appear to have been farmers, and in 1466 William Page held it in the same manner. In 1483 Wm. Redyng is returned as occupying it, and in 1488 & 1490. In 1503 it was in the hands of Isabella, widow of Wm Redyng while Richard Redyng renders an account of the estate in 1543. In this year all the lands in Harrow, and other counties went to Henry VIII in exchange for other estates. In 1546 the King granted them to Sir Edward Dudley and they remained in his family till 1630 eventually passing to Simon Revse, Sir W Bucknell, John Askell Bucknell, Hon Wm Grinston, Mr Bucknell Estcourt and is now the property of Wm Bush Copper Esq. The formation of a moated dwelling probably dates from 1344, simply a fortified dwelling for the occasional residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Great Barn: probably erected 1458-1543 measures 147'8" external length; by 38'8" wide. It is built entirely of oak, some of the timbers being 14" square. The smaller erections, now converted into stables, appear to be about the same date as the large barn. The whole house was fearfully modernised at the beginning of the 19th c

Headstone Moat House is in fact the only house on the estate which can now be identified with certainty as a manor house of the archbishops. Though it is probable that the archbishops did not make it their residence till the middle of 14thc. We know they continued to do so for 100 years from that date when they visited their estates in Middlesex. Archbishop Armdie writes from Headstone in 1407 & Archbishop Chicheley held a court at Pinner in 1435 while staying at Headstone. (PastScape ref. Hartshore; Grenside)

Combined excavation and structural survey of the Small Barn undertaken in 1986 prior to refurbishment. The published report contains a brief history of Headstone Manor as a whole. Use and development of the barn was divided into 6 phases on the basis of the excavated finds and features. The earliest datable material, associated with Phase 2, was of 13th-15th century date (Tucker, 1987). Further excavation was undertaken in 1989-90 within the scheduled area and a short distance SW of the moat and Manor. Evidence for numerous episodes of building construction and demolition were encountered, some of which have been tentatively correlated with 19th and early 20th century cartographic evidence. No medieval material was encountered, and all deposits and structures are assumed to be almost certainly post-1750. (Barnes and Hawker, 1991) Headstone Manor was visited by J Smith of RCHME in 1972. The following is abstracted from his report: The house incorporates part of a hall which was originally aisled and open from ground to roof, being heated by open hearth. What remains is one bay of what was probably a two-bay hall. At the other end is a cross-wing. Its date can only be assessed by the roof structure, all other original work being concealed. Hall and wing are probably contemporary though the latter could be a later addition. On general grounds the hall is likely to be of 14th century date rather than later, aisled halls having been superseded by the early 15th century in southern England. The subsequent historical development of the house is very complicated, exhibiting a variety of structural features. (PastScape)

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 ReferenceTQ141897
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


  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 320-25
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 171
  • Pevsner, N. (Revised by Cherry, Bridget), 1991, Buildings of England: London: North-West (London, Penguin) p. 280-1
  • Cockburn, J.S. and Baker, T.F.T. (eds), 1971, 'Harrow, including Pinner : Manors' VCH Middlesex Vol. 4 p. 203-11 online transcription
  • Pevsner, N., 1951, Buildings of England: Middlesex (London, Penguin)
  • RCHME, 1937, An inventory of the historical monuments in Middlesex (HMSO) p. 102-3 no. 2 online transcription
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1911, 'Ancient earthworks' VCH Middlesex Vol. 2 p. 1-14


  • < >Clarke, Patricia, 2000, 'Headstone Manor, Pinner, Middlesex' Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Vol. 51 p. 157-82 < > download copy
  • 1997 Sept 27, The Times
  • Barnes, I. and Hawkes, J., 1991, 'Headstone Manor, Harrow - Archaeolocial Excavations 1990' London Archaeologist Vol. 6.12 p. 328-32 online copy
  • Tucker, S.L., 1987, 'Excavations and survey of the small barn, Headstone Manor' Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Vol. 38 p. 151-8 download copy
  • Rigold, S.E., 1976, 'Structural aspects of medieval timber bridges: Addenda' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 20 p. 152-153 online copy
  • Rigold, S.E., 1975, 'Structural aspects of medieval timber bridges' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 19 p. 48-91 esp 82 online copy
  • 1973, 'Medieval Briatain in 1972' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 17 p. 177-8 online copy
  • Grenside, C.E., 1905, 'Notes on Pinner church and parish' Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Vol. 1 (ns) p. 429 online copy
  • Hartshorne, A.,1866-70, 'Headstone House, near Harrow' Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society Vol. 3 p. 185-190 online copy


  • 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)