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Baconsthorpe Castle
Sheringham, Norfolk Coast

Details for Baconsthorpe Castle

Well worth a visit, the significant ruins of Baconsthorpe Castle, a fortified 15C manor house complete with a moat, that is evidence of the rise and fall of the previously very prominent Heydon family

Over 200 years, successive generations of this ambitious family built, then enlarged, and finally abandoned this castle. Sir John Heydon probably built the strong inner gatehouse during the turbulent Wars of the Roses period, and his son Sir Henry completed the fortified house. In more peaceful times, their descendants converted part of the property into a textile factory, and then added the turreted Elizabethan outer gateway, inhabited until 1920.

The impressive Baconsthorpe Castle is intimately linked to the dramatic rise and fall of a single family, the Heydons, who lived here for 200 years. Aerial painting of the castle
The Heydons were an ambitious family. They first made their fortunes through the law profession and later from wool. Baconsthorpe Castle was built as their main residence in about 1450, and it became increasingly larger and more elaborate as the family's wealth grew. The Heydon's splendour, however, was short-lived. Having accumulated large debts, the family was forced to demolish parts of the castle in 1650 to sell as building materials.

THE Wool Industry
By the Tudor period, Baconsthorpe was established as a vast and profitable wool producing estate. It is estimated that the Heydons owned 20,000 to 30,000 sheep. The eastern service range was converted by Sir John II into a wool processing ‘factory'. Large windows provided light for the spinners and weavers to produce cloth. The coarse material was softened by...


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Baconsthorpe Castle
0870 333 1181

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