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Fakenham Magna

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Burnthall Platation

In the civil parish of Fakenham Magna.
In the historic county of Suffolk.
Modern Authority of Suffolk.
1974 county of Suffolk.
Medieval County of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL91207607
Latitude 52.34942° Longitude 0.80579°

Fakenham Magna has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Circular earthwork comprising a large bank with an outer ditch recorded in Burnthall Plantation. Possibly a medieval ringwork and scheduled as such. The monument comprises a pennanular enclosure with an overall diameter of 110m. The ditch is 13m wide and 2m deep with an inner bank up to 1.4m high and 9m wide. A section of the bank 30m long has been flattened on the western side. There is a counterscrap bank 0.4m high and 1.4m wide. On the north west side a causway 5m wide crosses the ditch marking the entrance. (PastScape)

Situated on a low spur projecting into the floodplain on the east bank of the river. Flood plain location of such a massive earthwork enclosure is remarkable and recalls that of some henges. Domesday Survey records the manor as belonging to Peter de Valognes who held lands in six eastern counties. Burnthall may have been the head of his estate in Suffolk. (Suffolk HER)

Does seem a somewhat unusual location for a manorial centre, but the earthwork seem too substantial to be anything other than a ringwork castle. Was an existing site (?henge) enlarged and modified by the, relatively insignificant, de Valognes family to become their caput. In Suffolk, were there were many free tenants finding manpower to build a castle may have been a problem and a modification of an existing ringditch into a ringwork may have been all that could be afforded or managed with the available tied serfs.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling        
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:30

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