Framlingham Castle

Framlingham is one of the most iconic places in the East Anglian medieval landscape; mostly this is because it is one of the very few places that has survived into the modern era relatively unscathed, but it is also an impressive structure — even if it is not as large as some other castles or not as well-defined as others. Continue reading “Framlingham Castle”

Mileham Castle

Mileham is not well known at all though it is one of the largest sites in Norfolk. A former Norman motte and bailey castle (two baileys again), and an eye-in-training for medieval sites will distinguish the various typical features easily by walking around the grounds. It’s actually quite spectacular: I didn’t have much of a clue of what I was coming to see here, and when I arrived and started moving about, the various moats in between structures, the different baileys stood out very clearly. I think in this sense it might be one of the best places to get an idea what Norman human landscaping meant. Continue reading “Mileham Castle”

North Elmham Priory & Castle

I really enjoyed visiting North Elmham. The site can be summed up as the vision of two very different people, Bishops Herbert de Losinga and Henry le Despenser. The former built a stone chapel (to replace earlier timber edifices) in the early 12th century and the latter converted it into a castle approximately in 1388. One on top of another, the ruins don’t really allow for easy differentiation but I guess that a bishop’s castle residence is as holy as his chapel. Continue reading “North Elmham Priory & Castle”

Elsing Hall

Elsing is a tough one to write and think about, mostly because this place is privately-owned and still lived in. I went to take a quick look at the surrounding area and to see what’s visible of the main structures from the road and it really isn’t much. I have also decided to illustrate the surrounding landscape more than the building itself with the image here to preserve that place for it’s owners. Continue reading “Elsing Hall”

Castle Acre Priory

Castle Acre is one of those places most people in Norfolk are slightly aware of and, yet, have perhaps never visited. If this is the case (or indeed if you are in Cambridgeshire or Lincolnshire) then one should do so at the first possible option, and let not even the promise of a rainy day hold you back. Such a day was exactly the one where I walked into the grounds of the former Castle Acre Priory, having never visited it before (much unlike the castle area itself where I’d been twice before). Continue reading “Castle Acre Priory”

Cambridge Castle

Cambridge is not well known for its fortification and it shouldn’t be. The castle here is long gone with bare marks on the ground where the earthworks used to be. Yet, visiting this site should be part of the regular Cambridge tour as I discovered on one of my recent forays into that city. Indeed, though I’ve been to the university town numerous times this was the first time for me to wander into the old castle “complex”, a term which I use loosely for the structures that originally dated from the Conqueror’s time. Continue reading “Cambridge Castle”

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar is a beast. It’s unlucky for it that a far more well known place is located within only a few miles, and that the more well known place is Edinburgh Castle which is both less historic and less awe-striking as well. Nevertheless, that is the situation right now and there’s little that can be done about “the Second Castle of Edinburgh” as some seem to call it. Continue reading “Craigmillar Castle”

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