Bishops Cannings Manor House

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

There are no visible remains

NameBishops Cannings Manor House
Alternative NamesCannyngg; Canynge
Historic CountryWiltshire
Modern AuthorityWiltshire
1974 AuthorityWiltshire
Civil ParishBishops Cannings

Traces of a ditch and rampart which Archdeacon Macdonald thought were associated with this house were still discernible in 1860, possibly suggesting the presence of a moat. Plot number 377 on the tithe map (1841), just south east of St Mary's church is called Court Close and was part of Court Farm. In the absence of other evidence, this seems to be the only obvious possible location of the manor house, although this edifice does not seem to have ever been used for residential purposes by the bishop. (Payne)

Gatehouse Comments

Site of manor house. licensed in 1337 and licence ratified in 1377. A large manor of the bishops but doubt has been cast on their actually being a residence here, so close to Devizes, but possibly subsidiary accommodation. There would certainly have been a steward house which would also have been the manorial court house where rents were paid etc. One of many manors mentioned in the licence to crenellate which suggests little work was done either in 1337 or 1377 although even if just a stewards house the status as the bishops court may have resulted in some dressing up of that hall with architectural symbols of power and status.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU037641
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  • Smith, P.L., 2013, The Bishop's Palace at Salisbury (Reading: Spire Books) p. 188
  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 627-9, 695
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 167, 168, 184
  • Pugh, R.B. and Crittall, Elizabeth (eds), 1953, VCH Wiltshire Vol. 7 p. 189 online transcription
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 334, 411 online copy


  • The Venerable Archdeacon Macdonald, 1859, 'Historical Memoirs of the Parish of Bishop's Cannings, County Wiltshire' Wiltshire Archaeological & Natural History Magazine Vol. 6 no. 17 p. 120-159 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1895, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1334-38) Vol. 3 p. 498 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1895, Calendar of Patent Rolls Richard II (1377-81) Vol. 1 p. 9, 10 online copy


  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) p. 156-7 (available via EThOS)