Members of the public will get the chance to witness a major English Heritage project unfold at a popular Norfolk attraction. 

A conservation project has started at Baconsthorpe Castle that aims to get the site ready to re-open to the public at the end of the year. 

English Heritage had to remove access to the ruins of the 15th-century manor house in 2021 for safety reasons after extreme weather conditions caused much of the masonry to become loose and unstable.
Eastern Daily Press: The project will repair weather damage to Baconsthorpe CastleThe project will repair weather damage to Baconsthorpe Castle (Image: Mike Page)

The charity, however, has revealed plans to hold a number of meet and greet days for people to visit the site over the summer to watch the conservation experts and restoration unfold.

Carried out by Cliveden Conservation's Norfolk Workshop, the project 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.

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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 and preserve it for future generations.

Eastern Daily Press: The manor house was built by the Heydon familyThe manor house was built by the Heydon family (Image: Ian Burt)"If everything goes according to plan we are looking forward to it being able to re-open soon for the local community to enjoy again.”

Baconsthorpe Castle belonged to the Heydons, a prominent Norfolk family who lived there for over 200 years. 

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

Eastern Daily Press: Baconsthorpe CastleBaconsthorpe Castle (Image: Archant)They built the fortified manor house in about 1450, but following the accumulation of large debts, they were forced to demolish much of the castle in 1650.

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."