Located in Norfolk, The castle keep at Castle Rising is without doubt one of the most famous 12th century hall-keeps in England.
The History of Castle Rising
Built in the year 1140 AD by William Albini, to celebrate his marriage to the widow of Henry I, this was magnificent Norman keep.
A major building program of the late 12th or early 13th century took place at the Castle. This 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 could well have been a result of this.
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.
In modern times Castle Rising stands solitary in its oval ringwork with only the broken remains of a bridge and gatehouse in front of it.
The Haunted History of Castle Rising
This castle was one of many homes of Queen Isabella of France, known as the `she-wolf of France`. She married Edward ll in 1308, but soon found he preferred the company of men. She had an affair Roger Mortimer and in 1326 they took the throne from Edward ll. They imprisoned him in Berkeley Castle and in 1327 had him murdered. They enjoyed a brief period in power but Isabella`s son, Edward lll, took control in 1330 and had Mortimer executed. Unable to bring himself to kill his mother, Edward lll is thought to have had Isabella imprisoned within the 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 screams which have been reported coming from the castle in the middle of the night!