Historic Norfolk: Castles

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.
https://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/norwich-castle
Norwich Castle.

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.
https://www.caistercastle.co.uk/
Caister Castle.

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.
https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/burgh-castle/
Burgh Castle.

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.
https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/castle-rising-castle/
Castle Rising.

Not much remains of the twin castles at Buckenham, originally constructed by the Normans, and later enlarged in the 15th century.
http://www.ecastles.co.uk/buckenham.html
Buckenham Castle.

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.
https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/baconsthorpe-castle/history/
Baconsthorpe Castle.

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!

55 thoughts on “Historic Norfolk: Castles

    1. I know what you mean. When you are keen to visit relatives, there is little time to travel around the area where they live. But if you are ever on your way to the east coast area, Caister and Burgh are worth a look. Caister has a small car museum too. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Can’t beat a good castle, but then I guess that was the whole point πŸ™‚ I hope my home town comes up, it has a cracking 11th century example, well maybe not much of the original standing, but the additions over time make for a great castle.

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    1. They were often part of large areas of land owned by the lord who lived in the castle. Much of that land was handed down with the castles, so cannot be built on.
      More castles tomorrow, Theo. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. Fascinating Pete! Those castles were really built to last! I’d love to see a few of them someday. The only castle I visited when I went to London was Windsor since it was easy to get to by train and made a nice day trip. And I enjoyed that thoroughly!

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  3. i’m fascinated by castles and their history. my friend now lives in Kings Lynn in a cottage which was once the town’s old post office. from their backyard, they could see Rising Castle up in the hill. πŸ™‚

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    1. I have been to Baconsthorpe and Caister. I have seen Burgh from a distance, likewise Castle Rising. But I have yet to visit Buckenham, or Norwich Castle. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

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        1. It is in the middle of nowhere, just outside of the town of Holt, accessed through some farmland on a poor track. I think driving there is essential, and it does have a free car park, plus free entry. πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Lol, make it tea and I’m there πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
    Just kidding of course, these are amazing Pete. I have an enormous love for old castles. We have a few of those here in Holland, but they are never as impressive as the ones in England. I especially love the old Buckenham castle. Yes, not much remains of it, but I don’t know it has this mystical aura which is why I am maybe liking it so much 😊

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    1. Although some were repaired later, almost all the original walls and foundations survived. Some had stones ‘borrowed’ from them for other buildings, and others were deliberately ‘reduced’, after the English Civil War. But modern-day maintenance and partial restorations are able to show us just how well-made those buildings were.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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