Temporal bone Schneiderian papilloma may present as a primary tumour originating from the middle ear and mastoid process, or an extension from sinonasal disease. Both forms are rare, this being only the 18th case of primary temporal bone Schneiderian papilloma described to date. Although the current patient has remained disease free after excision of the papilloma, the reported recurrence rate is high, comparable to sinonasal Schneiderian papilloma with extrasinus extension. Malignant progression of primary Schneiderian papillomas is significantly reduced as compared to Schneiderian papillomas that extend from the sinonasal tract into the temporal bone. A positive human papilloma virus status, as found in this case, is a common feature and prognostic factor of sinonasal Schneiderian papilloma but an infrequent finding in temporal bone disease. Owing to the high recurrence rate, the risk of malignant progression and the absence of reliable prognostic markers, stringent follow-up consisting of otoscopy, nasendoscopy and imaging is essential.