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Barsham Hall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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

In the civil parish of Barsham.
In the historic county of Suffolk.
Modern Authority of Suffolk.
1974 county of Suffolk.
Medieval County of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TM395904
Latitude 52.45897° Longitude 1.52518°

Barsham Hall has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a Tower House but is rejected as such.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The site lies on the south side of the Waveney valley, north-west of Holy Trinity Church. It comprises two separate areas: the moated site of Barsham Hall, and the remains of a building interpreted as a dovecote. The moat surrounds the north, west and east sides of a raised rectangular platform, standing up to 2 metres in height and measuring about 57 metres by 55 metres. The moat is about 10 metres wide, and is now largely infilled on the north and east sides, where the outer edges are marked by a scarp up to 0.5 metres high. The infilled southern arm probably survives as a buried feature. The central platform contains the buried remains of the 15th or 16th century hall and other buildings, and a house, originally the 1563 banqueting hall. The second area lies to the south and consists of the footings and buried remains of a circular building measuring approximately 10 metres in diameter and thought to have been a dovecote associated with the hall. The footings now stand to a height of about 0.3 metres. (PastScape)

The manor house is said to have been built by the Etchinghams (last died in 1527), and was largely pulled down by Robert Suckling (died 1812). It is said to have consisted of a great hall 44 x 28 feet (which) occupied the whole height of the building, a courtroom 28 x 18 feet with a chamber over 24 x 18 feet. Adjoining the hall was a withdrawing room 32 x 28 feet. All 16 feet high. The house enclosed a quadrangle, whose exterior walls were 142 feet each way, and near the entrance, which was over the E side of the moat, stood a lofty tower with a spiral staircase. Some of the apartments, now converted to cowhouses and stables, retain fireplaces and over a door are the Blennerhasset arms and the date 1563 (Blennerhassets succeeded Etchinghams in 1527 and sold hall in 1613) (S1) (from (R1)). Barsham Hall has been demolished. The former banqueting hall at TM 3958 9035 has had many additions and alterations and is in sound condition (1563 datestone). Blannerhassett Tower (well to S of moat, looking similar to circular dovecote on photo (S7)) has been demolished, the rubble remains standing to a maximum height of 0.3m and are thickly shrub covered. (Suffolk HER)

Returned on a search for Tower House in online database. Not a fortified tower house site, but could be considered as a fortified manor house.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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