Middleton Towers

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameMiddleton Towers
Alternative NamesScales Hall
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishMiddleton

Situtated on the south side of a moated island is a large, three storey gatehouse with polygonal corner turrets. It is constructed of brick with stone dressings and formed part of a house thought to have been begun circa 1455 by Thomas, seventh Lord Scales, who died in 1460, although the work was probably continued by his daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law, Sir Anthony Woodeville. By the 18th century the site was derelict and very little of the 15th century house remained, other than the gatehouse itself. The gatehouse was bought in 1856 by Sir Lewis Whincop Jarvis who, between 1864 and 1876, restored it and built a new south range to the west of it. A west wing was added at Middleton Towers for John Taylor Ramdsen in 1905. On the west side of the gatehouse, projecting from the south eastern turret, can be seen the stub of a medieval brick wall which probably enclosed the courtyard of the 15th century house. Another fragment of walling, which perhaps formed part of the north eastern angle of a medieval west range, stands on the north side of the island, near its western end and opposite the northern end of the 20th century range. (PastScape)

The moated site of Scales hall medieval manor house and adjacent earthworks related to the manor. To the east of the moat are the earthwork remains of the manorial fishponds and associated water management features. Both the moat and fishponds are contained within a larger earthwork enclosure. The moat, which contains water and is between 10-16 metres in width, surrounds a rectangular central island measuring 74 metres east-west by 40 metres north-south. On the south side of the central island is a three storey brick gatehouse. It formed part of a house thought to have been begun by Thomas, seventh Lord Scales. For the full description of the gatehouse, now a house known as Middleton Towers

The moat is situated in the northern half of the outer enclosure which is quadrilateral in plan with maximum dimensions of 225 metres east-west by 120 metres north-south at the western end and 175 metres at the eastern end. This larger enclosure is bounded by an earthen bank up to 1 metre in height, most clearly defined on the west side and where it borders the outer edge of the moat on the north side. Within the north eastern angle of this enclosure are two fishponds. To the north east of the ponds, beyond the eastern boundary of the outer enclosure, is a flat-topped rectangular platform which is likely to have been the location of a dovecote. To the north of the platform is a sub-circular mound which is perhaps the site of an earlier, circular dovecote. These features lie within a rectangular ditched enclosure about 180 metres long north-south by 40 metres, to the south and east of which are a further series of rectangular enclosures. The enclosures are thought to be of medieval date and to be for the most part the yards and closes of the manor. (PastScape)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceTF669175
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Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Cushion, B. and Davison, A., 2003, Earthworks of Norfolk (Dereham: East Anglian Archaeology 104) p. 117-9 (plan)
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, Index and Amendments to Mike Salter's English Castles Books (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 9
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 59
  • Liddiard, R., 2000, Landscapes of Lordship (British Archaeological Reports British Series 309) p. 85, 109
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 126
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 160
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1962, The Buildings of England: Norfolk: North-West and South (Penguin) p. 258
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 302-4 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 287 online copy
  • Blomefield, F., 1808, 'Freebridge Hundred: Middleton' An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk Vol. 9 p. 20-34 (tenurial history) online transcription


  • Charles Hollwey, 2016, 'The Lost Towers of John de Vere the 13th earl of Oxford' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 30 p. 263-280
  • Floyer, J.K., 1913, 'English Brick Buildings of the Fifteenth Century' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 70 p. 121-32 online copy

Guide Books

  • Steer, F.W., 1961, Middleton Tower, A Guide and Short History