Baconsthorpe Castle


Baconsthorpe Castle is currently closed to visitors as we have a conservation project underway but we have some activities taking place over the summer to invite visitors to find out more about about what is happening behind the fencing. On 1st and 22nd August at 11am and 2pm we are welcoming visitors to see the conservation repairs we have carried out so far and to meet the team involved. On the 1st August we will also have our Conservation van in the castle car park from 10.30am to 3pm providing a host of hands-on conservation activities for all ages. These will give you an insight into how we look after our heritage while doing something fun and creative.

Free Entry

Currently closed for essential maintenance work.


Castle Road, Baconsthorpe, Norfolk, NR25 6LL

Before You Go

Visit the extensive ruins of Baconsthorpe Castle, a moated and fortified 15th century manor house, that are a testament to the rise and fall of a prominent Norfolk family, the Heydons. Over 200 years, successive generations of this ambitious family built, then enlarged, and finally abandoned this castle.

Sir John Heydon probably built the strong inner gatehouse during the turbulent Wars of the Roses period, and his son Sir Henry, whose memorial can be seen in Baconsthorpe Church, completed the fortified house. In more peaceful times, their descendants converted part of the property into a textile factory, and then added the turreted Elizabethan outer gateway, inhabited until 1920.

Read more about Baconsthorpe Castle’s history.

Before You Go

Opening times: Please be aware that Baconsthorpe Castle is currently closed to visitors as we have a conservation project underway during 2024.

Parking: Car parking is available on site with a £2 charge for non-members payable by text. Parking is free for Members with a valid English Heritage car sticker on display. If you would prefer to pay in advance of your visit, please visit our parking payment service website.

Access: Access is on gravel paths and across grass. Some surfaces are uneven and can get muddy during wet weather. Access to the inner castle area is through a rather narrow gate.

Facilities: There are no facilties at the castle but the market town of Holt is five miles away.

Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.

The Heydon Walk: There is an opportunity to learn more about the Heydon family at St Mary's Church, Baconsthorpe's village church, as it holds some family tombs and memorials, and some stained glass showing the family coat of arms. The church is a 30-minute walk from the castle with signage describing the walk at both the castle and the church.

Please be aware: There a moat and mere containing deep water.

Climbing on the ruins is prohibited.

Drone flying: English Heritage does not permit drone flying from or over sites in our care, except by contractors or partners undertaking flights for a specific purpose, who satisfy stringent CAA criteria, have the correct insurances and permissions, and are operating under controlled conditions. Please see our drone filming guidelines for more details, or email our Filming team.


Plan a Great Day Out

Baconsthorpe Castle is a very tranquil spot, and the perfect place for a picnic on a sunny day. 

Next, why not visit the village church where you can see monuments to members of the Heydon family and windows bearing stained glass family shields? Visit the village website for more information.

This part of Norfolk is home to many other fascinating historic sites. Binham, with its impressive priory and medieval market cross, is just over ten miles away to the west.

Slightly further afield to the southwest, the remains of North Elmham Chapel are 16 miles away. And just under 30 miles away, you'll find the monumental remains of Castle Acre Priory, Castle and Bailey Gate.