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Middleton Towers

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Scales Hall

In the civil parish of Middleton.
In the historic county of Norfolk.
Modern Authority of Norfolk.
1974 county of Norfolk.
Medieval County of Norfolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TF66901756
Latitude 52.72978° Longitude 0.47021°

Middleton Towers has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


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)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

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