Music House, Norwich

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Town House

There are major building remains

NameMusic House, Norwich
Alternative NamesIssacs Hall; Jews House; Moyses Hall; Paston House; Wensum Lodge; 167 King Street
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishNorwich

“... At Bury St Edmunds is still to be found the strong Jew's House known as Moyse's Hall, and correspondingly the Jew's House in Norwich is still to be found although greatly disguised by reason of subsequent additions. It is in the parish of St Etheldred, and has been known both as “Paston House ” and “The Music House”. ... a conjectural drawing of the original Jew's House ... exhibits the usual method of entrance to a Norman building which was by a covered staircase leading to a door on the first floor. ... the Norman groined cellaring (has) the only remaining portion of one side of the entrance door of the Isaac's Hall, all the rest of the door, porch and staircase having been destroyed when the Jacobean portion of the Music House was erected on the south side. The bases (of this entrance door) have vertical “nicks” about 1½ inches apart inside the concave moulding ... similar to the three transitional pillars of the old Infirmary of the Norwich Priory ... the date of these is believed to be between 1175 and 1190. “It appears then that the house was built by Isaac the Jew temp. Henry II. On his death it was escheated by King John and alienated in favour of Sir William de Valoines by Henry III. After passing through many hands it was in 1474 the city house of William Yelverton esq who sold it to Sir John Paston Knt. In 1613 it was purchased by Sir Edward Coke, Recorder of Norwich and Lord Chief Justice. He it was who probably built C17 addition to the south, calling it Paston House in memory of his first wife. Finding the old porch in the way, he destroyed all except the fragment shown. The “Music House” was first mentioned in the “Norwich Gazette” of 19th January 1723, the City Waits being accustomed to meet and practice there.” ( ref. Kent)

Gatehouse Comments

In King Street. This has a groined vault of five bays with a round-headed door in the side and cross-walls and narrow loops near one angle, with traces of a forebuilding; a jamb retains mouldings of about 1175. How defensive this house was is open to some question.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

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 ReferenceTG236080
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Copyright Cameron Self All Rights Reserved
Copyright Cameron Self All Rights Reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 66
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus and Wilson, Bill, 1997, The Buildings of England: Norfolk: North-East and Norwich (Penguin) p. 274-5
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 262
  • Ayers, B., 1994, English Heritage Book of Norwich (London: Batsford/English Heritage)
  • Margeson, S., Seiller, F. and Rogerson, A., 1994, The Normans in Norfolk (Norfolk Museums Service) p. 77, 79
  • Campbell, J., 1975, 'Norwich' in Lobel, M.D. (ed) The Atlas of Historic Towns Vol. 2 (London: Scolar Press/Historic Towns Trust) online copy
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 262
  • Lipman, V.D., 1967, The Jews of Medieval Norwich (Jewish Historical Society) p. 27-8, 111-12
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1962, The Buildings of England: Norfolk: North-East and Norwich (Penguin) p. 272
  • Blomefield, F., 1806, 'City of Norwich, chapter 42: South Conisford ward' An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk Vol. 4 p. 76-7 (tenurial history) online transcription


  • Davis, Philip, 2010-11, 'Crenellated town houses in Medieval England' Castle Studies Group Journal Vol. 24 p. 270-91 (mention)
  • Kent, E.A., 1945, Norfolk Archaeology Vol. 28 p. 31-8