English Heritage Reveal How Henry II Kept East Anglians At Bay

By David Prudames | 14 October 2002
  • News
  • Archived article
Louise Barker, Archaeological Investigator for English Heritage, surveys the land around the castle

Left: Louise Barker, Archaeological Investigator for English Heritage, surveys the land around the castle. Photo: Gareth Fuller.

Long ago they protected Henry II from the terrifying East Anglians, but now it's taking the most up-to-date investigative techniques to reveal Orford Castle's hidden walls.

A team of archaeologists from English Heritage are undertaking a survey to find the exact location of the spectacular twelfth century castle's vanished original defences.

Dismantled after 1600, the castle, whose building records are the earliest in England, was originally built to protect King Henry II from the barons of Norfolk and Suffolk.

the investigations will show us how the castle originally looked

Right: the investigations will show us how the castle originally looked. Photo Gareth Fuller.

"This is an exciting opportunity to investigate the precise location of the missing curtain walls, which have been highlighted in the conservation plan for Orford Castle," explained English Heritage East of England Historic Properties Inspector, John Ette.

"The plan highlighted aspects of the site which we already understand, but also areas where further research is required to assist with future management of the earthworks - which have been subject to quarrying in the past and more recently visitor erosion and vegetation growth."

Global Positioning Satellite technology will be used to measure and record the angles and distances of the humps and bumps - all that's left of the original walls.

an aerial view shows the humps and bumps that would once have been an imposing fortress

Left: the humps and bumps that would once have been an imposing fortress. Photo Gareth Fuller.

Data collected will be used to produce the first accurate plan of the earthworks and create a detailed three-dimensional model reconstruction of the castle.

Orford Castle was built between 1165 and 1173 for King Henry II at a cost of £1413.00.

The most detailed plans we have of the estate at the moment are those drawn by the cartographer and surveyor John Norden in 1602. The original plans are in two volumes and housed in Suffolk Record Office.

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
Related listings (452)
See all related listings »

Events

  • 1 mile
  • 2 miles
  • 3 miles
  • 4 miles
  • 5 miles
  • 10 miles
  • 20 miles
  • 50 miles
  • Any time
  • Today
  • This week
  • This month
  • This year

advertisement