Norwich siegework

Has been described as a Questionable Siege Work

There are no visible remains

NameNorwich siegework
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishNorwich

Renn records a siege castle, now destroyed, built in 1074.

All that certain history has to tell of this siege of Norwich Castle, is that De Guader left it in the hands of his countess and knights, the names of the latter not being given; that they were attacked by the king's forces under the leaders named in the text, armed with all the mechanical inventions of the day; that the countess held it for three months, and gave it up on the terms related through lack of provisions; and that she rejoined her husband in Brittany. Why he had not appeared to relieve his castle is not recorded. These details may be found in Orderic Vitalis, Matthew Paris, Florence of Worcester, the Chronicles of Worcester and Peterborough, and in all modern historians who deal with the period, perhaps the best account being that of Freeman in the fourth volume of his Norman Conquest a work abounding in interest and spirited description. (Blake, 1893, p. 349)

Gatehouse Comments

The siege is normally now corrected to 1075. As far as I can tell the chronicles do not mention a siege castle and Gatehouse does not know to what Renn was referring. Possibly he meant the motte at the Bishops Palace. Given map reference is for Norwich Castle, which is the one place this siege castle definitely was not although if it existed it must have been close.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTG231085
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  • Blake, M.M., 1893, The siege of Norwich Castle (New York) (Historical < >fiction < > loosely based on actual siege) online copy
  • Freeman, E.A., 1876, The history of the Norman Conquest of England (Clarendon) Vol. 4 p. 581-3 online copy


  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12 (listed as siegework)

Primary Sources

  • Ingram, James, (ed) 1912, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Everyman Press, London) AD1075 view online transcription (Ingram's translation and notes date from 1823. More recent translations of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles should be consulted for serious study)
  • Forester, T. (ed), 1854, The Ecclesiatical History of England and Normandy by Ordericus Vitalis Vol. 2. 81-82 (English Translation) online copy
  • Le Provost, A. (ed), 1840 Orderici Vitalis ... Historiæ ecclesiasticæ libri tredecem Vol. 2 p. 258 (Original latin with french notes) online copy (But consult Chibnall, M. (ed), 1968-80, The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis (Book4 Chapter13) for modern scholarship)