Work begins at Baconsthorpe Castle

10th May 2024

Cliveden Conservation begins work on a substantial conservation project at Baconsthorpe Castle which will enable the much-loved local Norfolk site to be re-opened to the public.

The project, which will be carried out by Cliveden Conservation’s Norfolk Workshop, includes significant structure and masonry repairs to the inner and outer gatehouse and the North East Tower, as well as repairs to the moat bridge. This will stabilise the loose masonry which had been affected by extreme weather conditions in recent years.

Whilst the site will need to remain closed during the work for safety reasons, English Heritage is planning to provide a number of ‘meet and greet’ days for people to visit the site over the Summer, observe conservation experts as they undertake their specialist work, and see the restoration unfold. Work is scheduled to be carried out through the following months, with the expected re-opening of the site being the end of the year.

Katie Chown, English Heritage’s Free Sites Partnership Manager, said: “We’re delighted that work has begun to repair Baconsthorpe Castle and to protect it from the elements for future generations to enjoy. We’ve had a lot of interest from members and visitors who love this special site. If everything goes according to plan, and with favourable weather conditions over the next few months, we are looking forward to it being able to reopen soon for the local community to enjoy again.”

Mirella McGee, Houghton Workshop Manager from Cliveden Conservation, said: “Our skilled conservation team will be consolidating the ruins using traditional materials and methods. We will be using ‘like for like’ materials, most of which will be sourced locally to carry out lime mortar repairs and lime capping on top of the ruins. Sensitive conservation will be absolutely crucial throughout the project to repair and secure the future of Baconsthorpe Castle. This is a fantastic opportunity for our Houghton Workshop to demonstrate its craftsmanship and knowledge to the wider community whilst making a positive impact to Norfolk’s heritage.”

Baconsthorpe Castle, a fortified 15th century manor house, is testament to the rise and fall of a prominent Norfolk family, the Heydons, who funded their lavish lifestyle from converting the property into a profitable wool producing estate. Over 200 years, successive generations of this ambitious family built, then enlarged, and finally abandoned the castle as they fell into debt. With its picturesque setting and significant history of a powerful Norfolk family, it remains a popular local attraction.

 

Safeguarding the future of Baconsthorpe Castle.

Safeguarding the future of Baconsthorpe Castle.