Baconsthorpe is the gem of Norfolk, the one place I would say that everyone should (could) visit if they have the opportunity to do so. It is suitably ruined while maintaining enough of the previous encircling fortifications to create a very good impression.
The first thing one who comes onto the site sees is the former mansion building which was occupied until the 1920’s:
This is one of the noticeably newer parts of the complex even though there’s not much of a difference (about a century) between when the outer gatehouse was constructed and the main mansion building to the back of this bit. The other noteworthy thing, barely shown on this image is the road which leads up to it, both sides of which are very nicely delineated as a garden area. The singular tree adds character which would otherwise be missing.
The inner gatehouse is also quite well preserved, and definitely worth considering. The picture above absolutely ignores the moat which to the right of this image develops into a small scenic mere. Indeed, it was this which — when I first visited — created the most English scene one can imagine: a light drizzle, derelict masonry, and swans paddling along.
This picture tries to capture the width of this fortified manor house, and yet doesn’t quite get there. I had a lot of trouble here, to be fair, with the system I was trying to use and that did not work for me. A lot of my pictures ended up very dark and those are not as good to use — and, yet, I would like to, as it was only my fourth visit which motivated me to try and walk around the place!
I think you can see how much I like this place from the random imagery I have managed to gather of this place over the years (2011 September being the first time I visited). This truly is one of the places I would always recommend, mostly because there is a lot to experience here though the site is quite small.
Go, friend, and take a look…