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Bungay Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bungeye; castellum de Buneie; Bungehia; Bungeia; Bungeie

In the civil parish of Bungay.
In the historic county of Suffolk.
Modern Authority of Suffolk.
1974 county of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TM336897
Latitude 52.45590° Longitude 1.43590°

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

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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

Description

On high ground, virtually surrounded by the Waveney and a site of earlier fortifications, Hugh Bigod, built a massive Norman keep in 1165. In 1174 he supported Henry II's rebellious sons in armed insurrection, which ended in surrender of the Castle to the King's forces and the payment of 1,000 Marks for his disloyalty. A second castle was built by Roger Bigod in 1294, with a licence to crenellate, which protected the town with curtain walls and provided the twin towers of the gate house which remain today.

Now almost a complete ruin, the remains of 2 circular towers still stand, with lower part with squared stonework. The ground plan was originally octagonal and the keep 54 ft square. Remains of walls are scattered about in flint rubble work, as are the various outer defences, earthworks, moats, etc. In 1140 Hugh Bigod, who had been created 1st Earl of Norfolk by Stephen, supported a rebellion against the King and was defeated at Bungay, and the Castle reduced. Re-instated, Hugh Bigod was again attacked, this time by Henry II on his accession to the throne, and was defeated and pardned on condition that the fortress was dismantled. This was carried out, and it remained uninhabitable, until 1281. Another Roger Bigod then obtained a licence to embattle his house, which stood on the old castle site. By 1312 the Castle had passed to Thomas de Brotherton in the reign of Edward II. In 1338, a daughter of Brotherton marrying Edward de Montacute the Castle passed into that family, and again changed ownership by marriage of his daughter to William de Ufford, Earl of Suffolk. By 1382 an inquisition reports that the castle was old and ruinous. By 1477 the property had passed to the Howards and soon after was again consigned to neglect as a residence. From C16 onwards it changed hands from time to time as a ruined site until about the year 1800 it passed back to the then Earl of Norfolk. (PastScape–ref. listing report of 1949)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1294 April 20 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path   NLS maps  
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   EarthTools   GeoHack  
Air Photos > 
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Photos >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
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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 on Saturday, July 26, 2014

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