Little Gransden Manor of the bishop of Ely

Has been described as a Possible Palace (Bishop)

There are no visible remains

NameLittle Gransden Manor of the bishop of Ely
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely
Modern AuthorityCambridgeshire
1974 AuthorityCambridgeshire
Civil ParishLittle Gransden

The bishops of Ely probably seldom visited this outlying estate, although their villeins were obliged to carry their baggage when they did. Bishop Lisle came to Gransden in 1356, when fleeing from the enemies who had attacked his train at St. Ives. The bishops maintained a manor-house at Little Gransden with a hall, chamber, and kitchen, the usual farm-buildings, and a dovecot. With the decline of high demesne farming the buildings began to fall into decay. In 1356 they were already said to be ruinous. The last to survive was the dovecot, demolished by the rector c. 1550, and possibly re-erected in Great Gransden. The site of the manor-house called Berry close, south-east of the churchyard and rectory, was held with the rest of the demesne by the tenants. They were leasing it to the rectors by 1550. On part they built a town house which was let by the churchwardens for 20s. a year. In the 16th century the steward held the manor courts there, and the new lords after 1602 claimed it therefore as the manor-house. The area was in 1968 occupied by the gardens of the former rectory and old school buildings. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

There is a very distinctive kink in the B1046 suggesting the road was altered to respect some boundary.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTL273553
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  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 176
  • Elrington, C.R. (ed), 1973, VCH Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely Vol. 5 p. 87- online transcription


  • 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)