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Castle Acre Castle, Castle Acre, Norfolk

Castle Acre Castle, Castle Acre, Norfolk
Photograph taken 01 August 2001 © Damian Grady. Source Historic England Archive ref: 221880

The remains of Castle Acre Castle are located in the southern part of the modern village of Castle Acre. They include a roughly circular inner bailey, an adjoining outer bailey and a triangular barbican (tower). The first stone building built in the centre of the inner bailey was a two storey residential building. It was built between 1070 and 1085. Originally, it stood in the centre of a courtyard surrounded by a ditch and bank. In around 1140 the house was converted to a keep. A second period of development at the castle saw the area of the keep halved and the perimeter defences of the inner bailey strengthened yet again. The perimeter bank was heightened and a second wall of solid flint was built on top of the existing curtain wall. An eastern and western gatehouse provided entry to the outer bailey. The foundations of three buildings are located within the outer bailey and are thought to have been a great hall, detached kitchen and a chapel. The hall was thought to have replaced the house in the inner bailey, after its conversion to a keep. Throughout the 12th and 13th centuries the castle continued to be an important administrative centre, but by 1397 it was derelict. The estate was eventually acquired by Sir Edward Coke in 1615, in whose family in remains. The castle was taken into state guardianship in 1929 and is currently opened to the public by English Heritage (2009).

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