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Baconsthorpe Castle

nr Holt, Norfolk

Featured Location Guide

Baconsthorpe castle ruins include two gatehouses, moat, walls and the remains of a building.

The Main Entrance to the Castle Photo by Anastasya Shepherd

It is almost always quiet and empty, located among the fields, with the ruins reflecting in the still waters of the moat. In good weather you can lie on warm stones, watching the water, listening to insects busy among the wildflowers and occasionally pushing the button on your camera to catch an especially beautiful reflection. The walls contain a wealth of textures, built of different rocks and overgrown with flowering plants, if you are warm and cheerful, or covered in melancholy remains of last years' growth, to suit autumnal mood.


Baconsthorpe was a fortified manor house built in the 15th Century by the Heydon Family, who originally made their fortune through the Law profession and later in Wool. It was built without a licence to fortify and on the east side was a lake and the other sides were protected by a deep ditch.

In the middle of the south wall a three-storied gatehouse was built. This was an important symbol of John Heydon's Lordship. It was also large enough to serve as a self-contained defendable residence in times of danger from his enemies. On the ground floor, there were two lodges, one housed a porter the other the chief servant. On the first floor there was a spacious suite of chambers for the family. There is a description of these rooms in the will of John Heyden's son, Sir Henry Heyden.. They are described as being luxuriously furnished with feather beds and silk curtains. The small room directly above the porch was thought to be a private chapel.

On the east side there were a range of buildings in the Tudor period they were converted into a wool processing factory. the large windows providing plenty of light for the spinners and weavers who worked there.

After the Civil War the house fell into ruin and today these ruins are all that remains. The curtain walls are complete and include the remains of the towers. In the middle of the south wall are the remains of a 3 storey gatehouse with a two storey projection for a drawbridge. The lake and moat still remain.

Photo by Anastasya Shepherd


There are 11 images in the above showing different views of the castle and its location

All Photos shown here are by Anastasya Shepherd

Images showing some of the nature opportunities on offer at the site.

Wild Flowers Photo by Anastasya Shepherd

Photo by Anastasya Shepherd

Further information Grid



Baconsthorpe Castle, Norfolk

Ceremonial County: Norfolk

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo: Google Map



Best Times to Visit:

In the summer, when wildflowers bloom, is probably the best time to visit. I have not seen a sunset there, but it should be spectacular with the moat reflections.




English Heritage

Other useful websites:

Wikipedia    Biking map

Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:  


Planning Grid


Baconsthorpe Castle, Norfolk

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

Three quarters of a mile North of village of Baconsthorpe, three miles east of Holt, Norfolk


The property is owned by English Heritage. Access is free, through a gate you can open at any reasonable time.


There is a small parking lot just in from of the gate.



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

You can photograph the ruins, the moat, wildflowers, fields and an amazing old tree next to the castle wall.

What to take:

Take your favourite lens, a tripod, a wide-angle lens and a macro if you wish to photograph flowers. Dress warm - the walls have a lot of holes in them and provide limited protection from the weather.

Nature highlights:

The area is agricultural, so flowers, horses and crows are the most common sight.






NR25 6LE



Opening times:

Any reasonable time



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions: None
Special Needs Access: None, but the ground is flat and the car park is right in front of the gatehouse, so one can take some photos from here.
Special Needs Facilities: None
Children Facilities: None
Dogs Allowed: Dogs on leads

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Anastasya Shepherd Section: Castles Key: 
Page Ref: baconsthorpe Topic: Castles Last Updated: 02/2013


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