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.

The few stones still scattered about…

The ruins at this site are not particularly extensive: the base of a tower structure at the very top of the motte is what’s left with no other stone remnant that I could discover. Admittedly, I spent less time here than I could have as the day I was given was particularly rainy and I didn’t want to stay in this weather for too long.

The other thing I am not happy about is that unlike the more well-known places, Mileham doesn’t seem to have much of a recorded history — public online sources refer back to what has been written at the Gatehouse and that doesn’t even mention a potential owner. The lack of such information or even stories about who these people were leaves us in the dark in trying to figure it out — and while for a site such as Horsford I didn’t much care, I do here. Why? I don’t even know… I guess being able to say something concrete happened here would give us that link between an imaginary past and a real present, that link to connect the two and to imagine past events here. Without it, right now, Mileham will stay in the 12th century.

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