Wykes by Ipswich manor of the Bishop of Norwich

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

There are no visible remains

NameWykes by Ipswich manor of the Bishop of Norwich
Alternative NamesWykes Bishop; Bishop Wycks; Wyke Bishops; Holywells Park
Historic CountrySuffolk
Modern AuthoritySuffolk
1974 AuthoritySuffolk
Civil ParishIpswich

Residential manor of the Bishop of Norwich.

Large quadrilateral moat (of about 1 ha or 6 acres), connected to a linear series of ponds. Wykes Bishop was originally an outlying grange belonging to Queen Edith (in 1066)(Redstone). It was later granted by Richard I to John Oxenford, Bishop of Norwich. It is (incorrectly?) claimed the Bishops of Norwich subsequently had a manor house or palace here. In 1535 it passed to the Crown and was regranted in 1545 to Sir John Jermie. It is also claimed there is some possibility of a church or chapel here (Clarke). A moat first recorded in a bailiff's account of 1515 though there is no mention of any buildings on the site. Documentary search has failed to locate any evidence for a manor house or palace, though there is a 1515 reference to a barn or grange near the site of the moat. The named 'Holywells' was a 19th century invention - the area was previously known as hollow wells. The Park did not exist before the 19th century. Details in (Breen). (Suffolk HER)

Gatehouse Comments

Possibly included in the licence to crenellate possibly issued to the bishop in 1327 although as this was for all his houses may not have resulted in any building work. However, c.1314 bailiffs Stace and le Rente led a force of burgesses to the Bishop of Norwich's manor at Wykes Bishop, disrupted the holding of a leet court there, and rescued a horse that the Bishop's steward had arrested, so possible that here, at least, some work was done to fortify the manor house.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTM176435
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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. 131
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 181
  • Redstone, L.J., 1948, Ipswich through the Ages p. 28
  • Clarke, G.R., 1830, History of Ipswich p. 300-301


  • Wessex Archaeology, Sept 2005, Holywells Park Restoration Project, Ipswich: Archaeological Investigation Report (geophysical survey)
  • Breen, A.M., May 2004, Holywells Park
  • 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)