Eye Castle

Eye Castle, lies in the town of the same name in the county of Suffolk in England.

Eye Castle was built in the 11th century, during the reign of William the Conqueror, by the Norman knight William Malet. It was built as a motte and bailey castle, probably atop an earlier Saxon mound.

In 1106 Eye Castle was confiscated by Henry I of England and thus became a royal castle. In 1112, Henry gave Eye to his favored nephew, Stephen of Blois. In the 1140's Stephen, now King of England, gave the castle to his 2nd son; William. In 1157 the castle was confiscated from William by Henry II of England and the castle became a Crown possession once more. In 1173 it was besieged by Hugh Bigod. The siege failed but the severely damaged castle had to be rebuilt afterwards.

In 1265 Eye Castle was besieged and ransacked and was subsequently largely abandoned.

During the 14th century the castle was largely ruined although some parts of the castle were still used as a prison. Around 1561 a windmill was built on top of the motte.

In the 1830's a school and a workhouse were built inside the western end of the bailey. In 1844 Eye Castle was owned by General Sir Edward Kerrison, 1st Baronet, a British Army officer and politician. He had the mill on the motte demolished and replaced it with a domestic house. This house, built of flint and resembling a shell keep, supposedly was for his adjutant, who had saved his life at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. This building also became known as Kerrison's Folly.

In 1965 the house on the motte was damaged in high winds, collapsed and subsequently fell to ruin. In the 1980's the 19th century school and workhouse were replaced by a modern housing development.

What remains at present is the 11th century motte with the ruin of the 19th century house and a part of the curtain wall of the bailey.

At present Eye Castle is freely accessible during daytime. It is a small, not very spectacular ruin. When I visited a small group of volunteers, under the guidance of an archeologist, were clearing the ruin on the motte for upcoming excavations.


Gallery

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Eye Castle

Eye Castle, lies in the town of the same name in the county of Suffolk in England.

Eye Castle was built in the 11th century, during the reign of William the Conqueror, by the Norman knight William Malet. It was built as a motte and bailey castle, probably atop an earlier Saxon mound.

In 1106 Eye Castle was confiscated by Henry I of England and thus became a royal castle. In 1112, Henry gave Eye to his favored nephew, Stephen of Blois. In the 1140's Stephen, now King of England, gave the castle to his 2nd son; William. In 1157 the castle was confiscated from William by Henry II of England and the castle became a Crown possession once more. In 1173 it was besieged by Hugh Bigod. The siege failed but the severely damaged castle had to be rebuilt afterwards.

In 1265 Eye Castle was besieged and ransacked and was subsequently largely abandoned.

During the 14th century the castle was largely ruined although some parts of the castle were still used as a prison. Around 1561 a windmill was built on top of the motte.

In the 1830's a school and a workhouse were built inside the western end of the bailey. In 1844 Eye Castle was owned by General Sir Edward Kerrison, 1st Baronet, a British Army officer and politician. He had the mill on the motte demolished and replaced it with a domestic house. This house, built of flint and resembling a shell keep, supposedly was for his adjutant, who had saved his life at the battle of Waterloo in 1815. This building also became known as Kerrison's Folly.

In 1965 the house on the motte was damaged in high winds, collapsed and subsequently fell to ruin. In the 1980's the 19th century school and workhouse were replaced by a modern housing development.

What remains at present is the 11th century motte with the ruin of the 19th century house and a part of the curtain wall of the bailey.

At present Eye Castle is freely accessible during daytime. It is a small, not very spectacular ruin. When I visited a small group of volunteers, under the guidance of an archeologist, were clearing the ruin on the motte for upcoming excavations.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://castles.nl/eye-castle#sigFreeIdbaf069d5ae