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BUCKENHAM CASTLE

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Remains of castle earthworks, moat and keep. Built circa 1145-50 by William II de Albini to replace Old Buckenham Castle (TM 09 SE 4). It comprises an inner bailey and two outer baileys, all with earth walls. The circular keep is the earliest in England. Its walls are 11 ft thick at the foot and the total height of the keep may have been as much as 40 ft. The castle was demolished in the 1640's by the then owner (Sir Philip Knyvet) perhaps at the request of Parliament. The earliest castle seems to have been a simple ringwork 200 ft across with an oval outer enclosure (or bailey) to the East, defended by a bank and ditch. Later, the ditch of the ringmotte was widened and the bank thereof correspondingly raised, burying a stone gatehouse beside the keep, and a new entrance was made (on the opposite side) from a new bailey to the SW. Nothing remains above the ground storey. There is evidence of a second bailey to the South-West.

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