Site of Sudeley Castle Manor House

Description of this historic site

The site of Sudeley Castle Manor House which dated to the Medieval period. The site was located 300m north east of Griff Lane.

Notes about this historic site

1 There are no visible remains of the Manor House to be seen within the enclosed area of the moat.
2 Historical evidence exists for the Sudeleys who had a manor house at Griff. This was in existence by 1231-1242 when a chapel is recorded (PRN 6253), but the house could have come into existence earlier. A heavy concentration of building debris was noted at the E end of the moat and the foundations of a substantial building uncovered. Extensive trenching was conducted on the rest of the area. The buildings were badly disturbed by ploughing and included a hall 11.6m long and 6.1m wide with three bays. A long narrow room ran S from this. In phase two a large chamber was added to the N. The roof was of diamond-shaped split slate tiles and the ridges capped with green or brown glazed ridge tiles. Occasional architectural fragments included a piece of window tracery and sections of octagonal chimneys. To the NW of this main building was a secondary building, which appeared to consist of a room 7.6m E-W and 6.7m N-S. A further range of outbuildings was recorded at the NW corner of the moat. Finds included bronze objects, roof tiles, pottery of late 13th century and 14th century date and animal bones.
3 The plan of the buildings is not indicative of a manor house. The site may represent a specialised type of house not commensurate with the residing of a lordly household, but suitable for short visits (including hunting?) or for specialised functionaries. The small room A attached to the hall in phase one could be the Oratory (PRN 6253). If so the building is dated to c1231-42.
6 The site has now been descheduled.
7 The site has now been largely destroyed. A watching brief in 1986 produced no new evidence for the date of the moat, or for internal features. Only a thin strip of the centre of the site now survives.
8 A fragment of an unusual impressed floor tile depicting the head of a stag was donated by amateur archaeologist Mr. Ron Waite of Nuneaton, found at this site. Only four other decorated floor tile fragments have been recorded from the site, some of which are illustrated. It is possible that the tiles were bespoke items representing a hunting theme. Another suggestion (pers. Comm. Soden, I.) is that the stag design denotes the white hart and allegiance to Richard II. No author given.

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