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Bitterne Bishops Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Manor House

In the civil parish of Southampton.
In the historic county of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Modern Authority of Southampton; City of.
1974 county of Hampshire.
Medieval County of Hampshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU43371337
Latitude 50.91817° Longitude -1.38438°

Bitterne Bishops Palace has been described as a probable Masonry Castle, and also as a certain Palace.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law*.


This dates from the C13, on the site of the Roman Port of Clausentum, and was a manor house of the Bishops of Winchester. This was much restored in 1864, damaged in the second World War and subsequently reconstructed out of old materials. Two storeys built of stone rubble. Gable ended. Modern tiled roof with 5 modern dormers. Six modern mullioned and transomed windows. Modern doorcase with 4 centred archway having the datestone 1952 above it. On the left-hand side is a C13 blank lancet window and a portion of rough rubble walling. The interior is modern. (Listed Building Report)

Much altered large square tower has some C13 remains. Possible castle built originally within Roman wall and ditch of Clausentum. Site of episcopal house, possibly fortified, of C13 date. A documentary source of 1207-8 refers to a great house, with cloister, courtyard, kitchen, chapel, and barns. According to Leland 'sumtyme a castelle'. Remains within Roman shore fort of Clausentum.
The Roman walls and earthwork defences may still have been in existence in the middle ages but this site was readily accessible from the River Itchen and hardly defensible. However this location does mean this house of the bishops had an important economic function as a place for sea borne trade of the bishops estates.
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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 09:20:07

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