A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 4, City of Ely; Ely, N. and S. Witchford and Wisbech Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2002.
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LATER HISTORY OF THE CASTLE
Secretary John Thurloe, who purchased the manor during the Interregnum, replaced Morton's palace by a house in the style of the time, said to have been designed by Inigo Jones, but almost certainly by his pupil John Webb. It had a resemblance to Thorpe Hall, Peterborough, which is certainly the work of the latter architect. (fn. 1) At the Restoration the property reverted to the bishops. Most of them, however, spent little, if any, time at Wisbech, and the practice arose of leasing the castle to local families. Henry Pierson was the first post-Restoration tenant; later the Southwell family were lessees for more than a century. In 1778-9 Edward Southwell was paying £30 a year rent. (fn. 2) In 1793 statutory powers were acquired (fn. 3) by Bishop Yorke to sell the castle and grounds. The Bill passed despite the opposition of Sir James Eyre, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, (fn. 4) and the premises were sold by auction in the same year to Joseph Medworth of Bermondsey (fn. 5) for £2,305. (fn. 6) In 1811 Medworth offered the house to the capital burgesses for the Grammar School, but they had hopes of obtaining possession after Medworth's death at a reduced price and the offer fell through. (fn. 7) Medworth, who had been developing the 5-acre grounds as a residential estate since 1793, (fn. 8) pulled down Thurloe's house and erected the present 'Wisbech Castle' in 1816.