Castle Rising CastleThe castle keep at Castle Rising is without doubt one of the most famous C12th hall-keeps in England.
The present earthworks around the castle are the result of a major building program of the late 12th or early 13th century.
This major rebuilding work possibly took place as a reaction to the Revolt of 1173 AD-1174 AD with the increase in military activity that this generated.
The leading rebel in East Anglia was Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk and a rival to William D'Albini, who gained Norwich Castle during the rebellion. William returned from Normandy to meet Bigod in battle, and the upgrading of Castle Rising may be seen as a result of this.
In modern times, the aforementioned great 12th century keep at Castle Rising stands solitary in its oval ringwork with only the broken remains of a bridge and gatehouse in front of it.
In the year 1140 AD William Albini had built this magnificent Norman keep to celebrate his marriage to the widow of Henry I. It was developed into a superb residence over the next few hundred years until its then owner: the Duke of Norfolk was executed in 1572 AD. After that, the castle was abandoned and soon became a ruin.
However, today the castle is an impressive sight and is certainly one of the largest in England. The upstairs rooms of the castle are supposed to be haunted by Isabel of France, a former resident. She was much responsible for the terrible murder of her husband Edward II in 1327 AD. (See Berkeley Castle)
In her later years she is said to have suffered dementia and spent most of her time in the upper floors of the castle which would probably explain the sounds of a mad woman which many have said can be heard coming from the castle in the middle of the night!