As detailed in our Cookie Policy, like most sites Strolling Guides uses cookies to enhance your experience, and to share information about how you use our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Unless you disable cookies in your browser, using this website means you consent to this.

Castle Acre

As the exhibition at Castle Acre Priory so succinctly puts it, Norman society was split into three groups:

Nowhere is this clearer than at Castle Acre.

The Village

Castle Acre

Castle Acre

The Bailey Gate

The Bailey Gate

Those who work were the poorest of the three groups (it was ever thus), and little evidence of their lives remains apart from the road layout, parts of the town ditch and the fine Bailey Gate.

The modern village (modern in comparison to the castle and priory, that is) is, however, very pretty and well worth visiting in its own right.

The Castle

Location

Norfolk Map

OS Ref: TF 819 150

Last Visited: 2009

Those who fight lived in the castle in some comfort. Started in 1070 by William de Warrenne (who fought alongside William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings) the castle was improved and extended in various phases until it reached its final form around 1170.

From then on, the de Warrennes rather lost interest in Castle Acre, and by 1347, when it passed to the Earls of Arundel, it was already derelict.

Entry to the castle is free and it is open at all times. For further information, please go to the English Heritage web site.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Castle Acre Castle
      English Heritage Handbook entry
      http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/castle-acre-castle-and-bailey-gate/
    • Castle_Acre_Castle
      Wikipedia Article
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Acre_Castle

The Priory

Location

Norfolk Map

OS Ref: TF 814 149

Last Visited: 2009

The Prior's Study

The Prior's Study

Those who pray lived in the Priory, with regular meals, luxurious (by the standards of the day) toilet accommodation, and latterly their own rooms.

The Prior lived in considerable luxury which he justified because of his need to entertain rich and powerful guests.

The Cluniac Priory was founded by William de Warrenneʼs son, the second Earl of Surrey, probably in 1090. It continued to attract endowments and to expand its wealth right up until 1537, when it was surrendered to the king as part of Henry VIII ʼs Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Castle Acre Priory

Castle Acre Priory

The extent of the remains still visible at Castle Acre is quite breathtaking, and perhaps more than anywhere else conveys the size and wealth of what was, even at its height, only a middle ranking monastery.

For details of opening times, admission prices etc., please go to the English Heritage web site.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Castle Acre Priory
      English Heritage Handbook entry
      http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/castle-acre-castle-acre-priory/
    • Castle Acre Priory
      Wikipedia Article
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Acre_Priory