Clare Castle in Suffolk is located in the small county town of Clare. Originally a wooden motte and bailey castle built by Richard de Gilbert (de Clare) soon after the Norman conquest, it was later rebuilt in stone. Whereas most Norman castles have one bailey, Clare Castle was different in having two. The motte is 850ft wide and 100ft tall.
The two baileys were protected by large fortifications, including ditches and palisades. They stretched to the north and east of the motte and were likely to have been linked by a drawbridge.
The castle itself is built on the site of a former Anglo-Saxon hall, as is common amongst Norman castles, and is surrounded by three parks.
The castle continued to be in the possession of the de Clare family until the 15th Century when in 1405 the castle passed to the Mortimers of Wigmore on Elizabeth de Clare’s death. After this transfer of ownership, the castle later became property of the crown and steadily deteriorated over the centuries.
All that remains of the castle now is a wall of the keep, the motte on which it stands, some of the castle’s inner bailey stone wall and some earthworks. The castle is located in Clare Castle Country Park.