The website for Crow's Hall.

A talk on Crow's Hall by Suffolk Historic Buildings Group.

Debenham, Crows Hall

The Site of Crow's Hall, on a ridge above Debenham, is surrounded by a series of Moats which are believed to be of very ancient origin. From early times, and certainly as far back as the 13th Century, the Residence of the Lord of the Manor of Debenham has stood on this site surrounded by a rectangular moat of great depth and width.

It is known that about the middle of the 14th Century one John Crowe, a Gentleman from Lowestoft, acquired the property and built a large house. It appears that about 1420 Crowes Hall was acquired by Sir John Framlingham. He was succeeded by his son John who died in 1448 and by Sir James who died in 1519. It is not clear whether Sir James or his son Francis built the present house, but it is thought by some authorities that the latter is the more likely as a great deal of building in this style was done in Queen Elizabeth's reign.

The House, as rebuilt by the Framlinghams, consisted of a main block facing West across the inner courtyard (and including the great Baronial Hall) and two wings on the North and South sides joined by a single storey building with flat roof and a gatehouse in the centre, giving access to the bridge.

Today only the North wing and part of the single story building and gatehouse remain, these form an enchanting and easily manageable small Country House.

Debenham, Crows Hall - View from South West Corner of Moat

Crow's Hall remained the Seat of the Framlingham Family until 1595 when it passed, through Anne daughter of Sir Charles Framlingham, to her son Sir Charles Gawdy. Sir Charles supported the Royalist cause and it is thought that Crow's Hall was at one time besieged by the Parliamentary forces, but there is no record of this event. Sir Charles was created a Baronet in 1661 and died in 1707. Shortly before his death he sold the Debenham property to John Pitt. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, is believed to have lived at Crow's Hall for a time and later he sold the place to James Bridges who, in 1781 resold it to Sir John Major. His daughter Anne married Lord Henniker so that eventually the Manor came into the possession of the Henniker family who owned it until part of their estates was sold in 1948 to meet death duties.

There appears to be no record of how or when the greater part of the house disappeared, but this was probably in the early part of the 19th Century.

These images and the map are from 1960 at the time of Sale of Crow's Hall. The above historical details formed part of the Sale Brochure at that time.

Debenham, Crows Hall - Map of the Estate in 1960


  • 1221 - Robert Aguillers, possibly lord when granted market. 1
  • 1287 - John Crow and Maria his wife, Lords. 1
  • 1331 - Peter Talbot, of Hintlesham, and Matilda his wife, Lords. 1
  • 1397 - Manor bought by John Framlingham. 1
  • John Framlingham, (married Margaret nee Lee) son of the above John Framlingham. On his death on 12th June 1425 he was succeeded by his son, John. 1
  • 1425 - John Framlingham, (married Mary Walles). He was succeeded by his son, John. 1
  • John Framlingham (married Anne, daughter of Robert Wingfield) died 1498. 1
  • 1498 – Sir James Framlingham. Married 1st the daughter of John Walworth, then 2nd Anne, daughter and heir of Robert Horne & Margaret, daughter and co-heir of John , Marquis Montague. He died in 1519. 1
  • 1519 – Thomas Framlingham, son of the above, who died without issue. 1
  • Francis Framlingham, brother of above, who married Elizabeth Anne, daughter of Sir Philip Tilney. He died 20th September 1544. 1
  • 1544 – Sir Charles Framlingham, son and heir of the above, inherited. He married 1st Dorothy, daughter of Sir Clement Heighan, Knt. His only son Clement pre-deceased him under age. He married 2nd Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Barnardiston – there were no children. He died without male issue on 28th July 1595. 1
  • 1595 – Crow’s Hall was left to grandson Sir Charles Gawdy, son of the aboves daughter Anne and her husband Sir Bassingbourne Gawdy of West Harling, Norfolk. Sir Charles Gawdy married Judith, daughter of Sir William Waldegrave. He died 13th December 1629. 1
  • 1629 - Charles, later Sir Charles Gawdy married Vere daughter & co-heir of Edward Cooke of Havering in Essex. He died 10th November 1650. He is commemorated by the coffin-plate now on the south chancel wall. 1
  • Succeeded by his son and heir Charles Gawdy, who married 1st , in 1657, Mary, daughter of George Fielding, Earl of Desmond. He married 2nd, Elizabeth. He died on 15th September 1707 having previously sold the manor to John Pitt. 1
  • William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. 1
  • James Bridges of Great Bealings. On his death the manor passed to his widow, Lady Jane, who sold it to Sir John Major. 1
  • Sir John Major, Bart. He died in 1781. 1
  • 1781 – Lord Henniker, who was the husband of Anne, daughter of the above. 1
  • 1841 - Henry Moore 2
  • 1851 - Charles Moore 3)
  • 1858 - Charles Moore 4
  • 1871 - Charles Moore, Farmer 5
  • 1881 - Charles Moore and Henry Moore 6
  • 1891 - Margaret Moore, Tenant Farmer 7
  • 1892 - Margaret Moore, Tenant Farmer 8
  • 1896 - Margaret Moore, Farmer 9
  • 1900 - Margaret Moore, Farmer 10
  • 1901 - Margaret Moore, Farmer 11
  • 1908 - Arthur Henry Moore 12
  • 1912 - Arthur Henry Moore 13
  • 1916 - Arthur Henry Moore 14
  • 1922 - Arthur Henry Moore 15
  • 1925 - Arthur Henry Moore 16
  • 1929 - Mrs. L. M. Moore 17
  • 1933 - Mrs. L. M. Moore 18
  • 1937 - Mrs. L. M. Moore 19
  • 1939 - Louisa M Moore 20
  • 1960 - Victor Knowland2122, Owner
  • 2005 - Caroline Spurrier, Owner


  1. [S276] W. A. Copinger M.A. LL.D. F.S.A. F.R.S.A., Manors Of Suffolk - Copinger, Volume 7.
  2. [S28] 1841 Census for England & Wales (online image).
  3. [S27] 1851 Census for England & Wales (online image).
  4. [S83] Kelly's Suffolk Directory, 1858.
  5. [S15] 1871 Census for England & Wales (online image).
  6. [S25] 1881 Census for England & Wales (online image).
  7. [S16] 1891 Census for England & Wales (online image).
  8. [S142] History, Gazetteer and Directory, 1892.
  9. [S138] Directory, 1896.
  10. [S139] Directory, 1900.
  11. [S3] 1901 Census for England & Wales (online image).
  12. [S148] Directory, 1908.
  13. [S119] Directory, 1912.
  14. [S149] Directory, 1916.
  15. [S705] Directory, 1922 "Page 119-120."
  16. [S135] Directory, 1925.
  17. [S152] Directory, 1929.
  18. [S134] Directory, 1933.
  19. [S132] Directory, 1937.
  20. [S624] National Register for unknown census place (online image).
  21. [S178] Knowland & Eaton For Debenham Playing Field Conveyance - Clement Orford Styles & Biggs, Conveyance, 3rd April, 1967 unknown repository.
  22. [S179] Knowland & Eaton To Knowland, Eaton & Turner Lease - Biggs, Lease, 3rd May, 1972 unknown repository.