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Little Downham Bishops Palace

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Tower Farmhouse

In the civil parish of Downham.
In the historic county of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely.
Modern Authority of Cambridgeshire.
1974 county of Cambridgeshire.
Medieval County of county palatine of the Isle of Ely.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL51928420
Latitude 52.43450° Longitude 0.23300°

Little Downham Bishops Palace has been described as a certain Palace.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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


C15 palace of Bishop of Ely. Gatehouse survives as farm outbuilding. Built for Bishop Alcock (1486-1500). Red brick with deeper red brick diaper patterning; plinth coursed in English bond with chamfered limestone band, limestone dressings to quoins and openings. Reroofed with corrugated iron. Possibly of several original storeys, height reduced to two storeys with walls and door jambs in rear elevation of rear wing demolished. South elevation: Pedestrian entrance to left of centre through moulded four-centred arch with panelled overmantel and superimposed crocketed ogee arch enclosing a cock, the rebus of Bishop Alcock. Windows with round-headed- lights, drip moulds and chamfered mullions, two single-light ground floor windows and one three-light window to right hand of entrance; one large five-light window reduced in height at first floor and two single-light windows to right hand. Interior: The original plan was of an entrance hall with guardroom and doorway to staircase from the cross passage with an inner room to the right hand. The end room was possibly tunnel vaulted and the hall has springings for two bays of fan vaulting. The room divisions are repeated at first floor. The Lease of 1746 'with covenant to repair tower said to have been gatehouse... into a good farmhouse'. Bishopsic of Ely Lease Book. Kitchen wing survives as barn, fragments also incorporated into later buildings. (Listed Building Report)
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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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