Ramsbury Manor

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

There are no visible remains

NameRamsbury Manor
Alternative NamesRemmesbury
Historic CountryWiltshire
Modern AuthorityWiltshire
1974 AuthorityWiltshire
Civil ParishRamsbury

Great house constructed 1681-83 in English Renaissance period style on the site of an earlier house constructed in 1560. A Medieval deer park and garden features surround the house. The bishops of Salisbury had, from C13, a park and a palace at Ramsbury Manor. (PastScape)

Ramsbury throughout the Middle Ages was one of the bishop of Salisbury's principal and, especially in the later 15th century and the early 16th, most often lived in palaces. The house stood beside the Kennet in a park which has been extended more than once. The bishops had at the house a chapel dedicated to the Virgin and a cloister was mentioned in 1320. Licences were granted to crenellate in 1337 and to wall and crenellate in 1377. Leland described the house c. 1540 as 'fair' and 'old'. Between 1552 and 1567 William, earl of Pembroke, spent over £2,000 on building work at the site. His house had a main symmetrical east front of two storeys with attics and nine gables. (VCH)

In the early to mid 12th century the Bishops of Salisbury moved their Ramsbury residence to the well-documented site at Ramsbury Manor Park. Prior to that time it is thought that the episcopal residence was located within the settlement (see Ramsbury 'castle' . (Mcmahon p. 11)

Gatehouse Comments

Although a sketch survives of the house of 1560 nothing is known of the form of the bishop's medieval house beyond this mention of a chapel and cloister. It presumably had the domestic security of a boundary wall and may well have had decorative battlements.

- 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 ReferenceSU257709
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Calculate Print


  • Smith, P.L., 2013, The Bishop's Palace at Salisbury (Reading: Spire Books) p. 178-80
  • Emery, Anthony, 2006, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 3 Southern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 627-9, 695
  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) p. 242
  • Crowley, D.A., 1983, 'Ramsbury Hundred' in Elrington, C.R. (ed) VCH Wiltshire Vol. 12 (Oxford University Press for the University of London Institute of Historical Research) p. 19-22 online transcription
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 123, 167, 168, 184
  • Pevsner, N. (Revised by Cherry, Bridget), 1975, Buildings of England: Wiltshire (London, Penguin) p. 340-1
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 411 online copy


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 499
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 5 p. 79 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1895, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1334-38) Vol. 3 p. 498 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1895, Calendar of Patent Rolls Richard II (1377-81) Vol. 1 p. 9, 10 online copy


  • Mcmahon, Phil, 2004, The Archaeology of Wiltshire's Towns An Extensive Urban Survey Ramsbury (Wiltshire County Archaeology Service) online copy
  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) p. 176-180 (available via EThOS)