Record Details

NHER Number:43123
Type of record:Monument
Name:Castle Acre planned town


A planned town laid out around Pales Green in the 12th century in the outer bailey of the castle. The town was surrounded by a substantial bank and ditch and walls. Some sections of the bank and ditch survive as earthworks, and parts of the town wall are still standing. To the north of the town is the Bailey Gate, a large flint and stone gate with twin drum towers and inner and outer arched gates, with a slot for a portcullis, see NHER 46817.

Images - none



Full description

A Norman planned town occupying a rectangular area immediately to the west of the castle.
The town was enclosed by a ditch and an internal bank surmounted by a wall, with gates on the north and south sides. The bank and ditch on the west side and along much of the south side survive as substantial earthworks, known as Dyke Hills. The earthworks along the northern side have been levelled, but evidence recorded during installation of sewers has confirmed that the ditch survives as a buried feature beneath Stocks Green and the High Street and, at the eastern end, the inner edge of the ditch and traces of the outer edge can still be traced, curving southwards to meet the ditch around the inner ward of the castle. See NHER 25924, 25925, 25928 and 25931.
Little remains standing of the town wall except the eastern end on the south side, blocking the castle ditch, but other remains, including foundations, are likely to be preserved below the surface of the bank around the western side. Broken stubs of the wall can also be seen on the eastern side of the partly ruined northern gate, known as the Bailey Gate, which stands at the northern end of Bailey Street. This is massively built of mortared flint with stone dressings and, although now roofless, still stands to full height, with twin drum towers fronting recessed inner and outer arches. On the inner faces of the walls are remains of the slots for a portcullis.
Information taken from (S1).
S. Spooner (NLA) 12 April 2006

Monument Types

  • TOWN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOWN DEFENCES (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • TOWN GATE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Monograph: Liddiard, R.. 2000. Landscapes of lordship: Norman castles and the countryside in medieval Norfolk, 1066-1200..
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. History of our 'green field' towns. 18 May.
---Leaflet: Raymond Nazer. 1977. Castle Acre.
<S1>Designation: English Heritage. 1998. Scheduling Report.

Related records

46817Parent of: Bailey Gate (Building)
25925Parent of: Medieval and post medieval road (Monument)
25931Parent of: Medieval and post medieval road (Monument)
25924Parent of: Medieval ditches and pits (Monument)
25928Parent of: Medieval road and Late Saxon pottery (Monument)
22786Parent of: Post medieval house and village green (Monument)
3450Parent of: Site of medieval chapel (Monument)
3449Related to: Castle Acre Castle (Monument)

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