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Thetford Red Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Redcastle Furze

In the civil parish of Thetford.
In the historic county of Norfolk.
Modern Authority of Norfolk.
1974 county of Norfolk.
Medieval County of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL86088307
Latitude 52.41389° Longitude 0.73430°

Thetford Red Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


C12 ringwork situated on the south side of the Thetford-Brandon road, about 100m south of the Little Ouse River and overlooking the site of a medieval ford. The ringwork is a sub-circular earthwork with an overall diamter of 120m and is visible as a flat-topped mound with a broad, raised rim on the west and south east sides, encircled by a ditch which remains open to a depth of about 1.5m on the west side. Limited excavations carried out in 1957-8 demonstrated that the full depth of the ditch is approximately 3m, measured from the contemporary ground surface, and that it surrounds an inner bank about 2m in height and 12m wide at the base. The excavations also revealed some evidence for a timber palisade on top of the bank. Possibly constructed during the Anarchy, and to have remained in use for a relatively short period. If so, it was probably constructed by Earl Warenne who, after 1139, held the surrounding land to the south of the river. (PastScape)

It was investigated by G M Knocker for the Ministry of Works during the summers of 1957 and 1958. It was found to be built astride the line of the town ditch and spoil from the ringwork ditch had filled in an earlier ditch on the west side. It had covered a burial ground which probably dates from middle Saxon to the 12th century and 85 burials were excavated. These were inhumation burials and some were in sarcophagi made of chalk clunch and flints. Traces of a small church of early 11th century date were uncovered north of the burial ground. Groups of post holes and hearths, many Romano-British, Saxon, Thetford ware, St Neots ware and Stamford ware pottery sherds, iron nails, bone comb, prick spur, etc were found (PastScape ref. Knocker, 1967)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:19:30

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