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Historic England Research Records

Caister Castle

Hob Uid: 134161
Location :
Norfolk
Great Yarmouth
West Caister
Grid Ref : TG5048012290
Summary : Caister Castle was built for Sir John Fastolf from 1432 to circa 1446. It was a brick building rectangular in plan, with angle towers. There are three gunports in the north-west tower and several gunports in the curtain wall. The principal remains of the castle are the north-western angle tower of the main building and the north and west adjoining curtain walls. The surrounding moat has been partially filled in. The internal building remains of the main castle block have been determined by the sinking of trail holes by Mr Hamblen-Thomas. The north east outwork of the castle is thought to be older than the main block. It is the only English example of a `Wasserburg', a water-ringed castle common in the Rhineland and Flanders, and it was one of the first major brick built buildings in England.
More information : (TG 50481229) Castle (NR) (remains of) (NAT) (1)

Caister Castle was built for Sir John Fastolf from 1432 to circa 1446. It was a brick building rectangular in plan, with angle towers. The principal remains of the castle are the north-western angle tower of the main building and the north and west adjoining curtain walls. The surrounding moat has been partially filled in. The internal building remains of the main castle block have been determined by the sinking of trail holes by Mr Hamblen-Thomas. The north east outwork of the castle is thought to be older than the main block.
See plans. (2,3)

Large brick castle with square inner ward with two outer platforms and wet moats. Main ward had one very lofty round tower, and flanking square and round towers. There is another large round tower on one outwork which contained a watergate. Begun in 1432, it was taken in a private war in 1469 when the Duke of Norfolk took it from the Pastons. (4)

There are three gunports in the north-west tower and several gunports in the curtain wall. (5)

It is the only English example of a `Wasserburg', a water-ringed castle common in the Rhineland and Flanders, and it was one of the first major brick built buildings in England. The castle is built on a large maoted platform divided by a cross-moat, surrounded by a curtain wall. A slim tower rises from the South-West corner, a feature unique in England. An inventory of 1470 shows that it had an unusual amount of artillery, 20 pieces. The loops in the curtain wall are for handguns while those of the tower mounted heavier ordnance. The castle endured a 6-week siege in 1469 before being taken by the Duke of Norfolk with a force of 3000 men and many guns. (60

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1:10000 1970
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Antiquaries journal : journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London
Source details : H D Barnes & W Douglas Simpson
Page(s) : 35-51
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 32, 1952
Source Number : 3
Source : The Buildings of England
Source details : North-East Norfolk and Norwich 1962
Page(s) : 109
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 306
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Fort : the international journal of fortification and military architecture
Source details :
Page(s) : 76
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 4, AUTUMN 1977
Source Number : 6
Source : Fortifications of East Anglia
Source details :
Page(s) : 175
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1432-1469
Monument End Date : 1469
Monument Start Date : 1432
Monument Type : Castle, Curtain Wall, Angle Tower, Interval Tower, Water Gate, Artillery Tower, Loopholed Wall
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 1
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Norfolk)
External Cross Reference Number : 8671
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TG 51 SW 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON TG 51 SW 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1973-09-24
End Date : 1973-09-24
Associated Activities : Primary, CAISTER CASTLE MOAT
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2010-12-31