Advent Calendar of Castles December 1st: Castle Rising

This year for christmas I’m running an advent calendar of medieval castles. Each day I’ll post three photos of a castle and some information. Today I’m starting with Castle Rising in Norfolk just out of Kings Lynn.


William d’Albini the Earl of Arundel began having the castle built in c. 1138. It was most likely built for his new wife, who was the widow of Henry I, Adeliza of Louvain. The keep itself was probably envisioned as self-contained accommodation for the lord and his family.  It is curiously domestic in scale, but the massive earthworks make it clear that defence was at least considered. The uppermost levels of the keep were likely added at a later date and this included re-roofing and adding an extra room at the top of the keep. As well as the keep, in the grounds behind the earth works, there are the remains of a Norman church. It most likely predates the castle and would have been replaced by the current parish church in the town of Rising around the time the castle was built.

The d’ Albini family died out in the 13th century and Castle Rising passed into the Montalt family. The Montalt family died out in the 14th century and Castle Rising came into royal hands. It was after this that the castle entered what is probably its best known phase when it became the residence of Queen Isabella, known as the she wolf of England. She was the Queen of Edward II and many argue she had a role in his murder. It has been argued that Castle Rising was her prison, but it is also just as possible that it was the residence she chose in exile. There were certainly buildings erected for her in the grounds of the castle

Castle Rising ultimately came into the hands of the Howard family who still own and manage it today.



Site visit 2012

The photos are all mine

Favourite Castle Results

I ran a poll a couple of weeks ago on favourite castles. Thanks to everyone who voted and thanks to all who put in ‘other’ options. I now have more castles to go and visit. I figure you’ve all had enough time to vote now so here are the results.

5th Place:



4th Place:



Castle Rising.




Peel Castle Isle of Man.


Third Place: 



2nd Place:






In 1st place is:


Chepstow Castle Wales

Chepstow Castle

I have to say I am quite pleased with this result as Chepstow is one of William Marshal’s castles. Thanks again to everyone who voted and please feel free to let me know if you think there are others that should be on the list. I might do an open poll in a couple of months.



What is your favourite castle

Just a very short post. I was wondering what everyone’s favourite castles are. I have listed a few of mine in the poll below, but please feel free to add your own answers or to chose one of mine. Also I’d love to hear some of the reasons in the comments.

For inspiration here are photos of the castles I’ve listed.


IMG_1147Richmond Castle

Chepstow Castle Wales

Chepstow Castle


Pembroke Castle


Peveril Castle


Conwy Castle

ferns castle irland

Ferns Castle


Castle Rising. 


Doune Castle. Yes I have a soft spot for Doune because of its Monty Python connections.


Foix Castle