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Morley Castle, Swanton Morley

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
The Island

In the civil parish of Swanton Morley.
In the historic county of Norfolk.
Modern Authority of Norfolk.
1974 county of Norfolk.
Medieval County of Norfolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TG02711770
Latitude 52.71874° Longitude 1.00115°

Morley Castle, Swanton Morley has been described as a Masonry Castle but is rejected as such, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.


Of the castle of the Ryes or Beaufoes (Domesday mention) there are no remains save a moated space adjoining Castle Farm, with a few traces of foundations. Very few traces of the castle walls are left, not a single fragment rising a foot above the ground. The foundations of two walls at right angles with each other may be seen among trees in the south-west corner; and further to the east is a mass of concrete 3 to 4ft long. Traces of foundations may also be seen on the south-east (probably means south-west) edge of the moat which is now used as a farm road: and there is a good deal of masonry in the sides of the moat in the plantation (Garthew). The remains of a defensive moat in poor condition. The river formed the north and west arms while the south and east arms were man-made. The whole site has been subject to modern landscaping and tipping. The area centred at TG 02771770 has been terraced and raised slightly above its surroundings and is probably the site of the castle. Remains of building foundations can be seen at TG 02741767, but it is impossible to trace any regular formation. Retaining banks exist alongside the river on the north of the site and in the south-west corner. The entrance to the site is from the south and is almost certainly in its original position. A plaque attached to a sign-board on Swanton Morley village green states that "William de Morley" was Lord of the Manor in the C15th, hence Morley Castle (Field Investigators Comments–F1 JB 28-FEB-73). (PastScape)

Site is within meander of River Wensum to the west and north, approx. 1.5m above flood plain. The south and east boundaries have a shallow (1m) moat, partly grassed in south-west. The remainder wooded with a modern drain incised into the south-east portion. Central area is grassland with irregular undulations and a vegetable plot. No evidence of masonry or moat revetting. (B. Cushion in Norfolk HER)

Not in village centre, 900m from church. What reason is there for calling this moated site a castle?
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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