There is evidence that a Saxon settlement was here, dating from the 10th century.
By 1180 Hugh de Plais had built, what is termed, a ‘great Norman house’, a fortified manor house
with a three storey high tower.
Hugh was a tenant of William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey.
Although it probably was never actually fortified, a rectangular moat was
never-the-less added in the 13th century.
It also had a large hall and an attached two storey chamber block. In the north west corner of the moat is a domed brick ice-house.
The building was to demonstrate the wealth and power of the de Plais family.
It is believed the site was abandoned around, 1390.
It is now in the care of English Heritage and is open to the public.
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