Caister Castle, Norfolk
Castle Lane off A149
Caister Castle was certainly designed to be defensive with its high curtain walls and hundred feet high towers with arrow slits, gunports and machicolations which supported a wall walk at roof level. It was surrounded by a water-filled moat with bridges which could be raised. The moat was filled with water from the River Bure. Caister Castle is one of the earliest brick houses to have been built in England. The clay required for the 1.7 million bricks used in constructing the castle was dug about 1.25 miles away from the building site.
Access to the castle is very easy from the road with ample parking.
~ History ~
1432 ~ Caister Castle is constructed for local landowner Sir John Fastolf, some seventy years after his family had acquired the manor, demolished to make way for the new castle at a cost of £6,046.
Fastolf is one of the most influential soldiers and diplomats of the Hundred Years War with distinguished military career fighting in France, including Agincourt.
1446 ~ The Duke of Norfolk visits upon completion of the castle.
1459 ~ Sir John Fastolf dies and is buried in the chapel built by him at St Benet’s Abbey in Holm.
1469 ~ Following an ownership dispute, the Duke of Norfolk besieges and takes the castle by force with four knights and 3,000 men.
Some heavy damage is inflicted on the castle but it is starvation and not canon that proves decisive.
1659 ~ Following the Duke’s death the castle returns to the Paston family who Sir John had bequeathed his castle to, but later sell it to William Crow, an upholsterer and money lender. It then came into the possession of the Bedingfield family through marriage.
1776 ~ The castle becomes increasingly neglected, although a survey shows that the buildings are still largely complete with three drawbridges. In the following centuries stonework is robbed from the castle which increases its decay.