Bungay Castle in Suffolk is located just off the main high street in Bungay. The Norman castle dates from about 1165 and is the second to be built on the site, having replaced an earlier fortification built around 1100. The castle was owned by the Bigod family who were granted lands in East Anglia at Bungay and Framlingham as a reward for their support by William the Conqueror.
The castle was built on a site that took advantage of a curve in the River Waveney for protection. Although the castle is not the largest in relative terms, it was constructed with walls that were at least 5-7m thick and which probably stood 33m in height.
During the 12th Century, the Bigod family were involved in several rebellions against the crown, including the Anarchy, with their properties at Bungay and Framlingham being confiscated on several occasions and then being returned to them. The castle at Bungay stayed in the ownership of the Bigod family until 1297, when upon Roger Bigod’s death it reverted to the crown.
After this, the state of the castle at Bungay deteriorated, in 1483 the castle passed into the ownership of the Howard family, Dukes of Norfolk. It remained in their ownership until 1987 when the Duke of Norfolk gave the castle to the people of Bungay. The castle is now owned by the Bungay Castle Trust. Admission is free but donations are welcome.
There is a café and visitor centre on site and will be able to see ruins of the gatehouse, curtain wall and parts of the keep.