Baconsthorpe Castle is set for a major conservation project after being closed to visitors for the past two years.

The 15th century moated manor house ruin east of Holt was put off limits by English Heritage in 2021 due to much of its masonry becoming loose and unstable.

A project to stabilise the stonework is due to start this year, but the charity has remained tight-lipped about when the site could re-open.

North Norfolk News: Baconsthorpe Castle, east of HoltBaconsthorpe Castle, east of Holt (Image: Archant)

An English Heritage spokesman said: “Like many of England’s flint ruins, Baconsthorpe Castle has suffered badly from the weather in recent years and is closed until a major project gets underway to stabilise the loose masonry on much of the building.  

“This is planned to take place during the current financial year 2024/25, after which the castle will re-open.  

“I’m sorry we can’t provide a more specific timescale than this at present.”

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North Norfolk News: Baconsthorpe CastleBaconsthorpe Castle

Baconsthorpe Castle is linked to the dramatic rise and fall of the prominent Norfolk family, the Haydons, who lived there for 200 years.

The family first made their fortunes as lawyers, but their wealth came from the wool industry.

Baconsthorpe Castle was built as their main residence in about 1450 on what is thought to have been the site of the earlier manor of Wood Hall.

The outer gatehouse, courtyards and a barn were all built the following century as the family’s wealth grew.

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North Norfolk News: Baconsthorpe CastleBaconsthorpe Castle (Image: Ian Burt)

However, despite the immense wealth they had acquired from the wool trade, the Haydons were poor estate managers and accumulated large debts.

They were forced to demolish much of the castle in 1650 to sell the materials to pay off their debts.

The outer gatehouse survived and became a private dwelling, known as Baconsthorpe Hall. It was occupied until 1920 until one of its turrets collapsed.

The site is now in the care of English Heritage.