Castle Acre, a tranquil rural village in Norfolk, boasts an extraordinary wealth of history. It is a rare and complete survival of a Norman planned settlement, including a castle, village, parish church and one of the best-preserved monastic sites in England, Castle Acre Priory. All this was the work of a great Norman baronial family, the Warennes, mainly during the 11th and 12th centuries.
Castle Acre Castle was founded soon after the Battle of Hastings by the first William de Warenne, a close associate of William the Conqueror. It is a superb and well-preserved example of a motte-and-bailey castle, and remains one of the most impressive Norman earthworks in the country.
The Bailey Gate is one of two stone gatehouses added to the settlement's massive earthwork defences in about 1200. The main road into the village still runs between its towers.
Read more about the history of the castle and Bailey Gate.
Before You Go
Access: There is a small free car park onsite.
Facilities: Toilets can be found at the nearby Castle Acre Priory.
School Visits/Large Groups: Please contact the Estates Team on 0160 473 5400.
English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.
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