orwich Castle dates back to 1067 when William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a fortification in the town to guard against attack from the Danes. The original castle would have been a motte and bailey type and many Saxon houses had to be destroyed to make room for it. William Fitz Osbern was put in charge of the castle at this time and a town quickly build up around it. When Fitz Osbern died the castle passed into the hands of his son-in-law, Ralph, (of/the) Wader. Ralph of Wader (Guader) was the one Englishman who had fought at William's side against England. In 1074 Ralph along with Roger, the younger son of William Fitz Osbern, rose up in revolt against William the Conqueror. Roger, now Earl of Hereford after the death of his father, had given his sister Emma in marriage to Ralph. William the Conqueror said the marriage was forbidden possibly to prevent the strong link between the two powerful men. At the marriage feast (or bride-ale) held in Exning in Cambridgeshire the plot was formented to remove William from the throne. Earl Waltheof was also involved and together they planned that one of them should become king. Later Waltheof realised his mistake and went to William in Normandy to confess. Back in England the other Earls were in revolt gaining support from Bretons and Danes but the English people supported the Conqueror and the revolt failed. At Norwich Castle Emma and the Bretons held out against the Royal Army and were finally given forty days to leave the country. The square keep was built on top of the motte in around 1120 and measures some 96 by 92 feet broad and 76 feet high. Although the keep retains its outer shell, the castle was repeatedly repaired and is not original. Entrance to the keep is by a fore-building. Again the entrance has been altered but once had gates and a drawbridge. In 1216 the castle was captured by the French Dauphin, Louis who occupied it for a year.
The keep of the castle at Norwich was possibly constructed between 1120 and 1130. ¹
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