Baconsthorpe Castle, Norfolk, 16th June 2017

June 26, 2017
Written by: Rob Slusar

Whilst travelling towards Cromer for a wedding, we decided to take advantage of the glorious weather that had over the past week or so and stop off at Baconsthorpe Castle.

Baconsthorpe “Castle” is a ruined fortified manor house close to Baconsthorpe in Norfolk.

Built in the late 1400’s by the Heydon family and it had license to be built as a fortified structure even though it was to be a family home.

The property stayed in the family for around 100 years until debt created family arguments and caused it to be sold off in parts, it eventually went out of use during the civil war and was left to go to ruin.

The Outer Gatehouse.

The Outer Gatehouse was a later addition to the manor house, and was built purely as a display of the family’s wealth. The gatehouse formed part of an impressive “Outer Court”, which would have been flanked by a number of small cottages and barns.

The Inner Gatehouse housed the living space for the Heydons and a number of the staff associated with the property. These suites would have been lavishly furnished and it is possible the building also contained a private chapel.

An old crooked tree seen through the outer walls of “The Quadrangle”.

Crooked tree.

The tower on the outer walls would become part of the wool processing factory that Sir John Heyden II installed on the site in Tudor times.

The moat.

Whilst primarily a residence, the three storey Outer Gatehouse was designed and large enough to be a fortified defensive structure should the need ever arise. To the left there was a range of service buildings that were converted in the Tudor period to be used for the wool processing works. The wool would go on to be traded with the Netherlands.

As the years rolled on, parts of the estate were sold off. The cottages and much of the Outer Court are now gone, but the barns still exist and are now owned by local farmers.

This old tree seems to have spent years leaning towards the sun, creating an interesting curve to the trunk.

There isn’t much to see here if I am honest, but it is a nice quiet wander if you like castles, and not a million miles away from the seaside at Cromer.

Thanks for looking.


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