Castle Rising castle is on of the most important 12th century castles in England. The stone keep, built around 1140, is amongst the finest examples of it’s kind anywhere in the country and this, together with the massive surrounding earthworks, makes Rising a castle of national significance.
Rising was a caput or capital, of one of the great Anglo-Norman baronies, in it’s time Rising has served as a hunting lodge and a royal residence. The best documented period in it’s history was when it was the dower the house of the mother of Edward the III, queen Isabella following her part in the murder of her husband Edward the II. The castle pasted to the Howard family in 1544 and it remains in their hands today, the current owner being a descendant William De Aibini the II, the Norman baron who raised the castle.
The castle consists of a large square, keep surrounded by an impressive oval, earthwork. known as the ring-work. to the east and west are two outer enclosures. or baileys. To the North of the keep. An within the ringwork bank, is ht a ruin church that slightly predates, the castle. to the the south of the keep are the remains of the several 14 century stand buildings, the settlement of rising was a planned medieval borough and is situated below the castle, it includes a church and the 7th century trinity hospital founded as an almshouse by Henry Howard Earl of Northampton, younger brother of the 4th Duke of Norfolk.
Castle Rising was built be the Norman Lord William De Albini, about the year 1140 following his marriage to Alice of Louvain, the widow of King Henry I, who died 1135.,
There is evidence of a prehistoric and Roman activity at Rising but nothing that would indicate that there was a settlement of any significance. The word “rising” derives from the Old English Rissa , meaning brushwood, and this suggests that in the 6th century and 7th centuries the surrounding area was probably wooded. By 1066 this had changed.
The Domesaday Book tells us that there was no woodland at this date and the Rising was a “berewick” or an outlying estate of Snettisham 7 miles to the north-east.