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Historic England Research Records

Norwich Castle

Hob Uid: 132268
Location :
Norfolk
Norwich
Norwich
Grid Ref : TG2319008530
Summary : Castle, perhaps originating as a motte and bailey between 1066 and 1075: the keep is thought to have been built about 1095 to 1110. Drum towers and a gatehouse were added in the 13th century. From documentary sources, it is known that the castle had a southern bailey with an inner barbican, a small bailey on the north-east side, and that the whole area was bounded by Castle Fees, which may have been marked by a ditch or bank. During the Civil War of 1642-1651, Norwich was held by Parliament, when a rampart substituted for the curtain wall, and a battery was built for the city's artillery on the north-east side of the castle mound. The keep became a prison in 1789-1795, with the addition of specific prison buildings. The majority of the present buildings on the site were built circa 1824, and the complex of keep and additional buildings became a museum in 1894 [see also TG 20 NW 385]. The Castle complex is both a Scheduled Monument and listed Grade I.
More information : (TG 23190853) Castle (NR) Castle Museum (NAT) (1)

The first castle was constructed between 1066 and 1075. From this period probably date the motte and south bailey; the small NE bailey may be contemporary or slighly later. The drum towers and three underground rooms of the 13th century gate house survive, and there is evidence that part at least of the medieval bridge is incorporated into the modern one. The only surviving building of the medieval castle is the stone keep built originally in Caen stone about 1130. It was completely refaced in Bath stone in 1834-39. The remaining buildings on the site were erected sometime after 1824, and the whole is now used as a museum. Grade I. (2-5)

From documentary sources, it is known that the castle had a southern bailey with an inner barbican, a small bailey on the north-east side, and that the whole area was bounded by Castle Fees, which may have been marked by a ditch or bank. There have been few excavations to prove the precise locations of the ditches, but they have been located at Shirehill Car Park (south bailey ditch, 1973), Castle Gardens (Barbican and part of barbican gate, 1991-2), the Castle Mall, (bailey and barbican ditches and barbican gateway ,1989-92), and in Golden Ball Street (Castle Fees terminus, 1998), and Old Cattle Marrket (north east bailey, 1979). A substantial ditch was also encountered at 18, Davey Place in 1961. Excavations have also been undertaken on the Castle Bridge in 1992. See related events for details. (6)

Norwich was one of the largest towns in England in the 11th, and with the threat of a Scandinavian invasion still present, Norwich was provided with a motte and bailey soon after the Conquest. Although temporarily occupied by rebellious magnates in 1075, 1087-8 and 1136, the castle remained in royal hands throughout the Norman period. Louis of France took the castle and town. Repairs were sporadically undertaken until the reign of Henry IV, after which repairs were only made to the Shire House. (7)

During the Civil War, Norwich was held by Parliament. The castle ditches were cleaned out and the old decayed curtain wall was demolished and and an earth rampart substituted. A battery was built on the NE side of the castle mound and all the city's artillery placed there. (8)

Recent publications [not consulted but summarised by correspondent] suggest that the latest research on Norwich Castle would appear to indicate a date of 1095 to 1110 for the building of the keep, rather than 1130. Derived from "Norwich Castle Keep", T A Heslop, Norwich, 1994; and "The Seigneurial Residence in Western Europe AD c.800 - 1600, ed. Gwyn Meirion-Jones, et al., British Archaeological Report S1088, 2002. (9)

Castle Museum still extant as at September 2006. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:2500 1965
Page(s) :
Figs. :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : B Green
Page(s) : 358-9
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 137, 1980
Source Number : 3
Source : Norman castles in Britain
Source details :
Page(s) : 259-62
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Norfolk archaeology : a journal of archaeology and local history
Source details :
Page(s) : 68
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 36, 1974
Source Number : 5
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) City & Cty of Norwich 1972 1
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : RJ Fitz-Gerald, NMRC Recording, 22-Oct-2003
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 2 : the Middle Ages
Source details :
Page(s) : 753-5
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Fortifications of East Anglia
Source details :
Page(s) : 182
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : Mr Brian Ayers, correspondence per e-mail on Pastscape website, 15-SEP-2006
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 10
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : [Accessed 18-SEP-2006]
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Motte and bailey phase 1066 to 1075
Monument End Date : 1075
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Motte And Bailey, Interval Tower, Castle
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Keep constructed 1095 to 1110
Monument End Date : 1110
Monument Start Date : 1095
Monument Type : Keep, Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Additions in 13th century
Monument End Date : 1299
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Gatehouse, Bridge, Curtain Wall
Evidence : Extant Building, Structure, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Civil War Phase 1642 - 1651
Monument End Date : 1651
Monument Start Date : 1642
Monument Type : Battery, Rampart
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Change of use to prison 1789 - 95
Monument End Date : 1795
Monument Start Date : 1789
Monument Type : Keep, Prison, Castle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Additions to prison circa 1824
Monument End Date : 1834
Monument Start Date : 1814
Monument Type : Keep, Prison, Castle
Evidence : Extant Building, Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Refronted 1834 to 1839
Monument End Date : 1839
Monument Start Date : 1834
Monument Type : Keep, Prison, Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Change of use 1894
Monument End Date : 1894
Monument Start Date : 1894
Monument Type : Keep, Museum, Castle
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : NF 5
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 0135N
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 0033N
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 0150N
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 0030N
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 0416N
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 0060N
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 0218N
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : N777
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 429
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 30
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 228735
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TG 20 NW 22
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1120451
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : CASTLE MOUND
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1905-01-01
End Date : 1906-12-31
Associated Activities : CASTLE MUSEUM, COTMAN GALLERY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1950-01-01
End Date : 1950-12-31
Associated Activities : 18 DAVEY PLACE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1961-01-01
End Date : 1961-12-31
Associated Activities : 7 FARMERS AVENUE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1963-01-01
End Date : 1963-12-31
Associated Activities : MARKET AVENUE, SHIREHALL CAR PARK
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1973-01-01
End Date : 1973-12-31
Associated Activities : CASTLE KEEP
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1975-01-01
End Date : 1975-12-31
Associated Activities : ST PETER PER MOUNTERGATE (ANGLIA TV, OLD CATTLE MARKET)
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1979-01-01
End Date : 1979-12-31
Associated Activities : NORWICH CASTLE KEEP
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1986-01-01
End Date : 1986-12-31
Associated Activities : OLD CATTLE MARKET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1988-01-01
End Date : 1988-12-31
Associated Activities : CASTLE MALL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1989-01-01
End Date : 1991-12-31
Associated Activities : CASTLE GARDENS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1991-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : CASTLE GARDENS
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : CASTLE BRIDGE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : CASTLE MALL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1992-01-01
End Date : 1992-12-31
Associated Activities : CASTLE BRIDGE, NORWICH
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : TIMBERHILL MAIN WATER PIPELINE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1993-01-01
End Date : 1993-12-31
Associated Activities : GOLDEN BALL STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : NORWICH CASTLE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1998-01-01
End Date : 1998-12-31
Associated Activities : NORWICH CASTLE MOTTE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : 8-10 CASTLE MEADOW/11-17 CASTLE STREET
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1999-01-01
End Date : 1999-12-31
Associated Activities : NORWICH CASTLE PHASE II
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT CASTLE MEADOW
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : FORMER AVERILL'S GARAGE, CATTLE MARKET STREET
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : BIGOD ARCH, NORWICH CASTLE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : BIGOD TOWER, NORWICH CASTLE
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : NORWICH CASTLE MOUND
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : NORWICH CASTLE MOUND
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : NORWICH CASTLE MOUND
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2010-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31
Associated Activities : NORWICH CASTLE MOUND
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31