The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Wanstead House

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Wanstead.
In the historic county of Essex.
Modern Authority of London Borough of Redbridge.
1974 county of Greater London.
Medieval County of Essex.

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ41078754
Latitude 51.56945° Longitude 0.03461°

Wanstead House has been described as a probable Palace.

There are no visible remains.


A Manor House is referred to from the C13 by the beginning of the C16 it was large enough to serve as a Royal hunting lodge; the deer park was empaled and stocked at that time and the building was altered and then rebuilt in the middle C16 (HKW). In the late C17 it was a quadrangular 2 storey house with many gables and furnished with 40 hearths; described by Pepys and visited by Royalty. A great new house was begun for Lord Rich in 1549 on a virgin site. The house was subsequently extended by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. This house was demolished in 1715 to make way for a new house designed by Colin Campbell for Sir Richard Child. No field remains relating to this house survive. The potential for sub surface deposits is poor as the house of 1715 was also demolished and robbed down to its cellar floors. (PastScape)

Little is known of the medieval pattern of settlement (of Wanstead) and no buildings survive from that period. The original parish church of St. Mary was a few yards from the present building, which replaced it in 1790. In the Middle Ages Wanstead House, the manor-house, probably stood near the church, as it certainly did in later centuries. Before the 16th century it was of no great size. From the 16th century Wanstead House, under a succession of royal and titled owners, was greatly enlarged. In the 18th century it was rebuilt as a Palladian mansion dominating the parish. (VCH)

Originally called Wanstead Hall, the house was probably quite a small building up until the 14th century, but by 1499 it was large enough to serve as a royal hunting-lodge. Henry VII and Henry VIII both hunted in the manor; it was during the latter's reign that Wanstead Park was inclosed, shortly before 1512, and it is probable that this involved the clearing of some of the wooded area. At about this time Aldersbrook became a separate, neighbouring, manor. Wanstead remained a Royal manor for a number of years, passing into the temporary possession of one royal favourite after another as keepers. Sir John Heron was keeper of the estate until his death in 1521; he also held lands in Aldersbrook and is reputed that he brought herons to the area. A heronry is shown on Lincoln Island on an OS map of 1919. Lord Richard Rich, High Chancellor of England, was keeper of the manor in 1543, and In 1549 Edward VI granted him the lordship of the manor of Wanstead and the Park. In 1577 Rich's son Robert sold it to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who bought the manor of Stonhall in Ilford at the same time. (Wanstead House and the Parklands - a history)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER            
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:31

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact