Baconsthorpe Castle, Norfolk

Baconsthorpe Castle, Norfolk

The trouble with TomToms, and I’m talking sat-navs not drums, is they take all the fun out of finding those tucked away places like Norfolk’s Baconsthorpe Castle.

Of course where I say fun, you might say frustration, but ask me the way and I’d delight in giving you these directions. ‘Follow the Baconsthorpe sign from Holt. Much of the road is single track, so be prepared to pull over when meeting the occasional bit of traffic. Unless the oncoming vehicle’s a tractor or a 4X4, then say your prayers, because the drivers of neither seem to take any prisoners.

Once you’ve entered Baconsthorpe, you want the last left before you leave the village. Don’t look for a sign, because there isn’t one; well there is, but it faces the other way and is sustaining a good growth of ivy.

A short distance on, you’ll see a smaller sign at a field edge. Follow the pointing finger down a farm track towards the two silos, keeping the cabbage field on your right. Once you’ve passed the redundant liquid fertiliser tanker, there’s just three cattle grids to negotiate and you’ve arrived.

You might now be wondering what there ever was in this bit of the back of beyond that was worth defending. The answer’s probably nothing, because Baconsthorpe Castle, or rather what’s left of it, was never actually a castle, but a moated and fortified manor house, so maybe the grander sounding title was adopted by the upwardly mobile early Tudor occupants or is 15th Century Estate Agent speak.

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