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Castle Rising

From Academic Kids

Castle Rising, illustrated in Cassell's History of England circa 1902
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Castle Rising, illustrated in Cassell's History of England circa 1902

Castle Rising, in Norfolk, was built in about 1150 by William d'Albini, Earl of Arundel, who also owned Arundel Castle. Much of its square keep, surrounded by a defensive mount, is intact, and it is now in the care of English Heritage.

During the Anarchy it was the site of a mint producing pennies for King Stephen.

Between 1330 and 1358, it was the residence of the disgraced former queen, Isabella of France, who may have died here.

Castle Rising was notable enough as a site to be granted representation in Parliament. Its most notable member was Robert Walpole, Prime Minister from 1721 to 1742.

The castle is remarkably good condition despite being over 850 years old.One of the most striking features is the earthwork surrounding the moat. The built up soil is now covered in grass for aesthetic reasons, but the grass features many delicate wild flowers and butterflies in spring or summer.

There is a gravel path at the top of the built-up area, which enables the visitor to walk right round the building, getting not only a great view of the castle, but also of the town of Castle Rising and its neighbours.

There is an audio tour available from the English Heritage shop. As well as pointing out features of the building, it tells the story Queen Isabella, using an actress.

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