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New Buckenham Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bukenham; Bukeham

In the civil parish of Old Buckenham.
In the historic county of Norfolk.
Modern Authority of Norfolk.
1974 county of Norfolk.
Medieval County of Norfolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TM08429041
Latitude 52.47170° Longitude 1.06771°

New Buckenham Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Remains of castle earthworks, moat and keep. Built circa 1145-50 by William II de Albini to replace Old Buckenham Castle. It comprises an inner bailey and two outer baileys, all with earth walls. The circular keep is the earliest in England. Its walls are 11ft thick at the foot and the total height of the keep may have been as much as 40ft. The castle was demolished in the 1640's by the then owner (Sir Philip Knyvet) perhaps at the request of Parliament. The earliest castle seems to have been a simple ringwork 200 ft across with an oval outer enclosure (or bailey) to the East, defended by a bank and ditch. Later, the ditch of the ringmotte was widened and the bank thereof correspondingly raised, burying a stone gatehouse beside the keep, and a new entrance was made (on the opposite side) from a new bailey to the SW. Nothing remains above the ground storey. There is evidence of a second bailey to the South-West. (PastScape)

The round keep is flint built. There is a traditional of circular church towers in this part of Norfolk dating back to pre-Conquest Saxon and, in all likelihood, this represents the economic necessity of reducing the expensive ashlar stone work required for corners and pilasters in an area where there is no readily available quality building stone rather than some defense innovation designed to reduce vulnerable corners. (NB since writing this I have become aware that Charles Coulson expressed, in 1994, the same idea of economic necessity being the reason for the round tower. It is possibly I had seen Coulson's work but failed to remember the source.)
NB The castle is in Old Buckenham CP Parish although New Buckenham town in New Buckenham CP, This does seem a rather unfortunate choice of boundary not reflecting either the medieval or modern connection between castle and village.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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