Horsford Castle

Horsford is one of these Norfolk places which doesn’t really exist any more except in the mindset of its visitors. It would be very easy to ignore these earthworks, and to let go of what was before. Yet, the status of scheduled monuments doesn’t quite allow for this.

If one has visited Denton and enjoyed that place, I would definitely recommend Horsford as well. The site is a bit easier to find as long as one aims for Church St of Horsford, NR10 3DB, and stops midway down this where a wooden pathway leads to this monument.

Üathway leading up to Castle Yards

This path leads the explorer to reach the site, with the motte structure the first thing that the visitor sees. Indeed, it seems to have been preserved a bit better than the bailey, or at least by the present day they are quite similar in their heights. The moat itself is better preserved on the bailey side though and when I visited, it was partially wet. Indeed, most of the landscape leading towards the forest to the north was quite wet though worth exploring to get an idea of what the entire place must have looked like.

And, indeed, it is quite a place to explore. Not big, perhaps, as — and here I had to stop writing and start thinking: which actually big castles in Britain have I seen. Dunnottar comes to mind, but scale has a different meaning there; maybe Pevensey for at least the Roman walls there enclosed a massive area, but that’s not a fair comparison — in any case, this is quite a castle, or at least it was one such eight/nine centuries ago.

Quite a castle; and also one which suffers very ignobly by this photo…

Indeed, my words make it soar a lot better than my pictures do, and yet even so are a bare imitation of the actual site. Just go and take a look, will you?

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