Hampton Lucy Manor of Bishop of Worcester

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop/Royal)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameHampton Lucy Manor of Bishop of Worcester
Alternative NamesHatton Rock Farm; Hampon Bishop
Historic CountryWarwickshire
Modern AuthorityWarwickshire
1974 AuthorityWarwickshire
Civil ParishHampton Lucy

Saxon royal palace complex covering an area of 5-8 acres, identified from cropmarks and excavation 460 metres east of Hatton Rock Farm. Grubenhaeuser and a series of timber buildings, possibly representing two phases of construction and dating to the C8-C9, were identified. These were comparable to the royal palace complexes at Yeavering and Cheddar. It is possible that the site was later used as a bishops palace when the estate passed into the ownership of the bishopric. One of the buildings which may have had an apsidal end has been tentatively interpreted as a church. (PastScape)

Site of Saxon royal or episcopal palace. A group of buildings and other features covering 5 to 8 acres, first discovered on air photographs, was suggested by Sonia Hawkes to be a series of "palace" buildings of Saxon date, comparable with those of Yeavering and Cheddar, and perhaps of two phases, judging by a difference in alignment. Digging of a pipe-trench across the site in 1970 strengthened the suggestion that the crop marks represent major timber buildings and grubenhauser, and uncovered Saxon pottery, possible plaster, and bones of domestic animals. A radio-carbon dating of 875AD <+->88 years, and the middle or late Saxon dating of the pottery, indicate occupation in the 8th or 9th centuries. Documentary evidence shows that the land in the area was conveyed by the Kings of Mercia to the bishops of Worcester at some time after 781 AD, and the late date of the site suggests the possibility that it was an episcopal residence, or a royal residence that continued in use after the ownership of the estate passed to the bishopric. A Roman brick and a piece of possible building stone were found near the south wall of a building which may have had an apsidal end, and is suggested tentatively to have been a church, perhaps re-using Roman material in its construction .(PastScape re. Rahtz)

The Bishop of Worcester obtained a charter of free warren 1248/9

A park is referred to from 1299 onwards and sources indicate that it contained pasturage but 'barely enough wood to fence the park'. The park was conveyed with the manor to the Duke of Northumberland in 1549 and described as one of the Bishop of Worcester's woods. Probably identical with Hampton woods, which later included in Fulbrook park. Coney Ground marked in Tithe Award NE of Mount Pleasant (Hooke, 1999).

Land in the north part of the parish of Hampton Lucy was heath and waste in the Medieval period, though still under the control of the lord of the manor. Enclosure of this land was completed by the late 17th/ early 18th century, with Hampton woods being amongst the lands added to Fulbrook park by Sir Thomas Lucy in the 17th century. The Deer Barn, under Copdock Hill, is an indication of the extent of the lands so transferred (VCH). (Warwickshire HER)

Site in relatively isolated field, some distance from village and church. Although close to road does not seem to be a focus for routes. This may suggest an early abandonment and does not seem to have finds later than C9. Was the post-Conquest episcopal manor house in the village near the church at SP256570?

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 ReferenceSP237577
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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. 466
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 187
  • Dyer, C., 1980, Lords and Peasants in a Changing Society: The Estates of the Bishopric of Worcester, 680-1540 (Cambridge University Press)
  • Salzman, L.F. (ed), 1945, VCH Warwickshire Vol. 3 p. 102-3 online transcription


  • Hirst, Rahtz and Dyer, 1971-3, Birmingham and Midland Institute, Birmingham Archaeological Society transactions, excursions and reports Vol. 85 p. 161-77
  • Rahtz, P., 1970, Antiquity Vol. 44 p. 137-43
  • 1965, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 121 p. 17-18

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1908, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry III (1247-58) Vol. 4 p. 345 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)
  • Hooke, D., 1999, 'Historic landscape assessment: Stratford District' Unpublished archive report