Castle Acre Town Defences

Has been described as a Certain Urban Defence

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameCastle Acre Town Defences
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorfolk
Modern AuthorityNorfolk
1974 AuthorityNorfolk
Civil ParishCastle Acre

The remains of the defensive works which enclosed the area of the Norman town to the west of Castle Acre Castle and Bailey Gate, the gatehouse which guarded the northern entry to the town. The town was enclosed by a ditch and an internal bank surmounted by a wall, with gates on the north and south sides. The bank and ditch on the west side and along much of the south side survive as substantial earthworks, known as Dyke Hills. The ditch is approximately 17 metres wide and remains open to a depth of 3 metres, and the bank stands to a height of up to 3 metres. On the south side the bank decreases in height and disappears towards the eastern end, and the ditch immediately to the west of Bailey Street appears as a steep, south facing scarp above a slight depression in the ground surface. Immediately to the east of Bailey Street, the ditch has been largely infilled, although the inner edge remains visible as a slight scarp and the rest will survive as a buried feature. The eastern end originally abutted the castle ditch at the southern end of the outer ward, but this section has been removed by a later quarry. The earthworks along the northern side have been levelled, but evidence recorded during the installation of sewers has confirmed that the ditch survives as a buried feature beneath Stocks Green and the High Street and, at the eastern end, the inner edge of the ditch can still be traced. Little remains standing of the town wall except the eastern end on the south side, but other remains are likely to survive beneath the ground. Broken stubs of the wall can also be seen on the eastern side of the partly ruined northern gate, known as the Bailey Gate, which stands at the northern end of Bailey Street. Dating to c1200, it is built of mortared flint with stone dressings and, although now roofless, still stands to full height, with twin drum towers fronting recessed inner and outer arches. These remains are currently under the guardianship of English Heritage

(PastScape)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTF818151
Latitude52.7035102844238
Longitude0.688220024108887
Eastings581890
Northings315100
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Stuart All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Salter, Mike, 2013, Medieval Walled Towns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 47
  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 24, 26, 72, 79, 263
  • Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 50
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 156-7
  • Margeson, S., Seiller, F. and Rogerson, A., 1994, The Normans in Norfolk (Norfolk Museums Service) p. 34, 89
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 online copy
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 311
  • Wilton, J.W., 1979, Earthworks and Fortifications of Norfolk (Weathercock Press) p. 20
  • Barley, M.W., 1975, 'Town Defences in England and Wales after 1066' in Barley (ed) The plans and topography of medieval towns in England and Wales (CBA Research Report 14) p. 57-71 plan p. 61 download/view online
  • Aston, M. and Rowley, T., 1974, Landscape Archaeology (David & Charles) p. 141
  • Turner, H.L., 1971, Town Defences in England and Wales (London) p. 124
  • Renn, D., 1967, Norman Castles in Britain (London: John Baker) p. 86
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 293-6 online copy

Journals

  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Château Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86
  • Morris, M., 2006, 'Walking history: Castle Acre Priory, castle and bailey gate' Heritage Today Vol. 75 p. 36-39
  • Creighton, O.H., 2004, ''The Rich Man in his Castle, The Poor Man at His Gate': Castle Baileys and Settlement Patterns in Norman England' Cha^teau Gaillard Vol. 21 p. 25-36
  • Bond J., 2001, 'Earthen Castles, Outer Enclosures and the Earthworks at Ascott d'Oilly Castle, Oxfordshire' Oxoniensia Vol. 46 p. 65-6 (Appendix: Norman earthwork castles with failed towns in outer enclosures) online copy

Other

  • English Heritage. 1998. Scheduling Report