Castle Acre- Castle- Norfolk
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
N 52° 42.210 E 000° 41.448
31U E 343980 N 5841789
Quick Description: The ruins of this old Norman castle at Castle Acre in Norfolk, maintained by English Heritage.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/16/2012 8:27:23 AM
Waymark Code: WMEMYX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member BarbershopDru
Views: 3

Long Description:
Castle Acre is a remarkable Norman settlement. It was once a fortified town bounded by a substantial earthen bank and ditch and had two well-defended gateways.

The Norfolk landscape provides few naturally defensible sites, but Castle Acre Castle makes the best of its position on gently rising ground, dominating the ancient Peddars Way where it crosses the River Nar.

To the south-east of the village are the remains of Castle Acre Priory, the best-preserved Cluniac monastery in the country. To the north-east are the ruins of the castle, founded just after the Norman Conquest by William de Warenne, first Earl of Surrey. Several generations of de Warennes were intimately involved in affairs of state and a number of English kings are known to have been entertained here.

Castle Acre's castle dominates the surrounding countryside and can be seen from the Cromer Road.
The Warenne family
The castle was the focal point of the Warenne family’s Norfolk estates. Its principal building was essentially a country house, but the castle’s defences were greatly strengthened in the 12th century when the house was effectively turned into a keep.
The site probably became derelict late in the 14th century, but its earthworks are among the most impressive to survive in Britain.
Despite their power and influence, the Warenne family’s hold over Castle Acre was not uninterrupted. John Warenne, the last of the direct family line, was excommunicated for adultery in 1316. The same year he gave the castle and town of Castle Acre to Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke and Ambassador to the Pope, probably to help press his suit for divorce.
In 1317 Warenne helped the Earl of Lancaster’s wife to elope. Enraged, Lancaster seized much of Warenne’s northern estates and for the next two years a private war was waged between the two. Warenne did not recover all of his possessions until 1326, four years after Lancaster’s execution, but several more years’ of complicated legal transactions were required before Castle Acre finally returned to the Warenne family.
By this time the castle was probably derelict: a survey in 1397 gave its value as nil. The last earl’s unsettled life and a series of absentee landlords had taken their toll.

From then on the castle was of value only for its agricultural land and as a convenient source of building material for the townspeople. Nevertheless, the site continued to change hands over the centuries. In 1615 Sir Edward Coke acquired the manor and site of the dissolved monastery and the castle remains in the possession of his descendants.

Above details from English Heritage website
Type: Ruin

Fee: free

no set hours is available to walk around

Related URL: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Original photographs showing additional views of the Ruin/Remnant or even just its current condition are encouraged. Please describe your visit, especially if no additional photos are available. Did you like the Ruin or Remnant? What prompted you to see the Ruin or Remnant?
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