Norfolk has been the name of this large county in the East of England since 1043. It derived from the Anglo-Saxon name for ‘Northern People’, and is self explanatory in that respect. (North-Folk)
Following the Norman Invasion in 1066, they soon developed the town of Norwich into the largest in the region, basing their operations there.
In 1067, William The Conqueror ordered the building of a large castle on a mound in the centre, and that still stands to this day.
Always wary of the threat from the sea, other castles were later built very close to the coast. Dating from the 15th century, Caister castle had an impressive tower at one time, and was surrounded by a moat. It was built as the home for Sir John Folstaff, who later inspired the Shakespeare character Falstaff.
Not far from Caister, and also close to the holiday town of Great Yarmouth, lies the village of Burgh Castle, also named after a castle built there. Originally a Roman Fort, and dating from around the 4th century, it was later used by the Saxons and the Normans.
Close to Kings Lynn in the west of Norfolk, you will find the village of Castle Rising. This is named after the impressive castle built in 1138 by William D’Aubigny, a Norman Earl.
Not much remains of the twin castles at Buckenham, originally constructed by the Normans, and later enlarged in the 15th century.
Baconsthorpe Castle is something of a misnomer, as it was actually a fortified manor house, with a moat for protection. Built in the 15th century during the Wars of The Roses, it was home to the influential Heydon family. Parts of it were still occupied until 1920.
If you ever get to Norfolk, make sure to visit some or all of these outstanding historical sites. And I don’t live too far from any of them, so you can call in for a glass of wine!