Marham Castle

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameMarham Castle
Alternative NamesHills and Holes
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishMarham

Rectangular moated site which has been identified as the site of the fortified manor known as Marham Castle. The moated site has maximum overall dimensions of 80m north west-south east by 77m north east-south west. The moat surrounds a central platform on which are the remains of a substantial building. The line of a circuit wall is indicated by low banks, consisting largely of chalk rubble and containing fragments of clay roof tile and other building materials, which enclose a rectangular area with internal dimensions of 30 metres by 20 metres. Mounds up to 1.5m in height, projecting externally at the four corners of this enclosure, mark the location of what were probably turrets. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The manor at Marham was held in the second half of C13 by William Belet, who received licence to crenellate his house there in 1271. However an Inquistion 1277 found that "the castle of Marham, raised by William Belet, is to the prejudice and nuisance of the king and country". See Coulson (2003) p. 131-133 for details of the licencing and the reasons for this minor site being called a castle.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTF705095
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  • Charles Coulson, 2003, Castles in Medieval Society (OUP; Oxford) p. 131-3, 135, 140, 173, 324
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 58
  • Liddiard, R., 2000, Landscapes of Lordship (British Archaeological Reports British Series 309) p. 109n17
  • Emery, Anthony, 2000, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 2 East Anglia, Central England and Wales (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) (Shown on map of fortified houses of East Anglia)
  • Rogerson, Andrew, 1994, 'Castles' in Wade-Martins, P, (ed), An Historical Atlas of Norfolk (2edn Norwich; Norfolk Museums) p. 68-9
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 309
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 403 online copy
  • Blomefield, Francis, 1807, 'Clackclose Hundred and Half: Marham' An Essay towards a Topographical History of the County of Norfolk Vol. 7 p. 378-9 online transcription


  • Leah, Mark, Mathews, Margaret and Davison, Alan, 1997, 'A Survey of the Earthworks at Hills and Holes Plantation, Marham, Norfolk' Norfolk Archaeology Vol. 42 p. 506-11

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1913, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry III (1266-72) Vol. 6 p. 540 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1904, Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem Vol. 1 no. 329, 1089