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Eye Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Eay; Eie

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

OS Map Grid Reference: TM148738
Latitude 52.32007° Longitude 1.15009°

Eye 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*.

Description

Motte and bailey castle. Motte raised 1066-71 and castle erected, the latter mostly destroyed in C14. Windmill constructed upon motte 1561-62, its successor demolished 1844 and replaced with house for Sir Edward Kerrison. This damaged 1965 during gale, partly collapsed 1979. House constructed of whole flints with brick piers and dressings. No roof. Plan is irregular enneagon consisting of curtain walls with living accommodation to south and west. To west side are remains of winder staircase to first floor, collapsed 1979. South end with foundations for 3 rooms. Curtain wall with arrow loops. Remains of late C12 flint curtain wall extends to north-west down motte to form part of north curtain wall of inner bailey. Historical note: house built for Sir Edward Kerrison's batman, who had saved his life during Battle of Waterloo. Castle mentioned in Domesday.

The remains of Eye Castle comprise a motte, centred TM 14787378, and a bailey to the west. The motte measures c50.0m in diameter by c 16.0m high. Traces of the bailey wall exist on the NW side of the motte at TM 14757380 and the remains of a square structure, probably a bastion. The top of the motte is surmounted by a 19thc folly. The bailey is marked by a steep scarp protecting a raised enclosure. No evidence of further walling was found, nor the well mentioned by authority 2. The bailey ditch has been mutilated by the gardens of adjacent houses but shows as a strong depression. (PastScape–Field Investigators Comments-F1 PAS 19-DEC-73)

There is a strong tradition of this being the site of an earlier Saxon fortification.
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
  • Websites (Gatehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
  • Books
    • Liddiard, Robert, 2005, 'The Castle Landscape of Anglo-Norman East Anglia: A Regional Perspective' in Harper-Bill, C. (ed), Medieval East Anglia (Woodbridge, Boydell) p. 33-51
      Salter, Mike, 2001, The Castles of East Anglia (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 75
      Martin, Edward, 1999 (3edn), 'Medieval Castles' in Dymond, David and Martin, Edward (eds) An Historical Atlas of Suffolk (Lavenham) p. 58-9
      Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 233
      Paine, C., 1993, The History of Eye (Diss) p. 4-5
      Higham, R. and Barker, P., 1992, Timber Castles (Batsford) p. 137
      Brown, R.Allen, 1989, Castles from the Air (Cambridge University Press) p. 114-5
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 457
      Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 229
      Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 185, 357
      Colvin, H.M., Brown, R.Allen and Taylor, A.J., 1963, The history of the King's Works Vol. 2: the Middle Ages (London: HMSO) p. 649
      Armitage, Ella, 1912, The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles (London: John Murray) p. 155-6 online copy
      Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
      Wall, 1911, in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Suffolk Vol. 1 p. 595-6 (plan) online copy
      Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 1 p. 276-7 online copy
  • Periodical Articles
    • 2012, 'Archaeology in Suffolk 2011' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 42.4 p. 521 (slight) online copy
      Liddiard, Robert, 2006, 'Early castles in the Medieval Landscape of East Anglia' Château Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 243-50
      Harfield, C.G., 1991, 'A Hand-list of Castles Recorded in the Domesday Book' English Historical Review Vol. 106 p. 371-392 view online copy (subscription required)
      Martin, E.A., Plouviez, J., and Feldman, H.A., 1988, 'Archaeology in Suffolk 1987' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 36 p. 317
      Youngs, S.M. et al, 1988 'Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1987' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 32 p. 275 download copy
      anon, 1987, 'Norman walls at Eye Castle' Ipswich Archaeological Trust News 22 p. 1
      Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 309
      Webster, L.E. and Cherry, J., 1980, 'Medieval Britain in 1979' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 24 p. 249 download copy
      Martin, E.A., 1977-80, 'Suffolk Archaeological Unit excavations, 1978' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 34 p. 218
      Brown, R, Allen, 1959, 'A List of Castles, 1154–1216' English Historical Review Vol. 74 p. 249-280 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 90-121) view online copy (subscription required)
      Brown, R. Allen, 1955, 'Royal Castle-building in England 1154-1216' English Historical Review Vol. 70 (Reprinted in Brown, R. Allen, 1989, Castles, conquest and charters: collected papers (Woodbridge: Boydell Press)) p. 19-64
      Harris, H.A., 1911, 'Eye Castle' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 14.2 p. 249-58 online copy
      Armitage, E., 1904 April, 'The Early Norman Castles of England' English Historical Review Vol. 19 p. 209-245, 417-455 esp. 230-1 online copy
      Hope, W.H.St J., 1903, 'English Fortresses and Castles of the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 60 p. 86 online copy
      Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 212 online copy
      Manning, C.R., 1876, 'Eye Castle' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 5 Part 1 p. 104-14 online copy
      Creed, H. 1859, 'On the Castle and Honor of Eye' Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History Vol. 2 p. 117-24 online copy
  • Primary (Medieval documents or transcriptions of such documents - This section is far from complete and the secondary sources should be consulted for full references.)
    • 1086, Domesday Book II p. 379
      Pipe Rolls 1157-98 (see Pipe Roll Society for published references)
      Howlett, R. (ed), 1889, ‘The Chronicle of Robert of Torigni' in Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I (Rolls series 82) Vol. 4 p. 193 online copy
      Stubbs, W. (ed), 1880, The Minor Works comprising the Gesta regum with its continuation, the Actus pontificum, and the Mappa mundi, by Gervase, the Monk of Canterbury (London: Longman Rolls series 73) Vol. 2 p. 427 online copy
      Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 439-40
  • Antiquarian (Histories and accounts from late medieval and early modern writers)
  • Other sources: Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
    • RCHME, July 1994, Eye Castle, Eye, Suffolk: An archaeological survey (SSF17502)
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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, November 15, 2014

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