Thetford Castle, Norfolk..

Thetford Castle in Norfolk is located in what is now a public park. The second largest, man-made mound in England, it is a traditional motte and bailey castle, with a massive mound and ditch, and would have consisted of a wooden tower.

The castle itself was the second to be constructed in Thetford, there having been a previous castle called the Red Castle that dated from the Norman conquest. It was constructed by Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk in about 1100. He positioned the castle to protect the town of Thetford and the crossing of the Icknield Way.

The motte, it is estimated, would have taken 24,000 man-hours to build, with most of the material coming from nearby quarries as the amount provided by digging the surrounding ditch didn’t provide enough material. It is believed the chalk that was used to build the motte came from Gallows Pits in the town.

At some point in the castle’s history it is possible a stone curtain wall and keep were erected by the Bigod family. Though no evidence of this remains, as the castle was captured by Henry II during the revolt of his sonĀ in 1173 and was mostly destroyed apart from the earthworks.

Thetford Castle Motte
Thetford Castle Motte
Thetford Castle Motte and Earthworks