Thetford Castle, Norfolk

Thetford Castle is just astonishing.  It certainly gives lie to the idea that a Castle needs stonework to be impressive - a motte that is just short of seventy feet tall is impressive in the extreme (in the picture above a man standing at the top of the motte can be made out).

A predecessor, known today as Red Castle, was built across town and took the form of a ringwork around a church, which was probably built by William de Warenne before 1088.

By 1100 Thetford came into the possession of the Bigods from Suffolk.  Roger Bigod set up the Priory in the town and probably moved the Castle to this site, adapting an Iron Age Hill Fort (although the site isn't much of a hill), but the motte was started from scratch and is England's biggest.

It would appear Thetford Castle never received any masonry as it was confiscated after Hugh Bigod's rebellion against Henry II in 1174 who had the Castle destroyed.

The fact that it has survived all that time in the centre of town is remarkable; and it is simply and awe-inspiring place to visit.

The Castle is on public land and is open at all times.

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