Our family visited Hedingham Castle in Essex County, which wasn’t far from where we lived in Suffolk County – this is a wing of the grand manor house on the property called the “Queen Anne” house.
Hedingham Castle is a fortress style Norman keep that is 110 feet tall and was originally constructed in 1140 – and is still owned by a descendant of the original family.
Google Maps has Hedingham Castle clearly noted on the satellite view in the northern portion of Essex County near the Suffolk County line south of Sudbury.
Hedingham Castle has a very informative web site that I recommend at: http://www. hedinghamcastle.co.uk/ – check it out to get all the information and photos to plan your day trip to the castle’s grounds.
David stands outside Hedingham Castle, which gives you some perspective as to the castle’s formidable appearance and height – a Norman keep is traditionally safely positioned within a castle’s exterior walls.
Hedingham Castle was originally more extensive, with various walls and a deep moat, however over time, the grounds became more ceremonial and were landscaped as gardens, rather than fortified – and a full restoration of the gardens and landscape was accomplished in 2009 – here David and I stand on an approach leading to the castle.
The tour inside Hedingham Castle is a realistic portrayal of what castle life was like during a siege, blockaded in the Norman keep for survival until the attackers decided to give up – here David stands in front of a great fireplace under a huge rack of antlers.
David stands in front of a table with a display of Hedingham Castle’s armor during our tour inside the Norman keep.
The same table of armor – helmets, shields and an axe – reveals an earlier time and place where life was very different than it is today…when living and survival was never guaranteed.
The tip of Hedingham Castle rises above the distant trees in this photo – the web site details the renovation that took place of the landscape and the gardens in 2009 – some 3 years after our visit took place.
I love this tranquil photo of what was Hedingham Castle’s original moat – the sign says “Careful Deep Water” – but the ducks at the edge of the water didn’t seem to mind the deep water at all.
This is another tranquil landscape of the English countryside, looking towards the distant village church.
Another pastoral view of the English country landscape of Essex County, and the green fields and forests of England are as inviting today as they have been throughout the years – despite the growing population of the U.K.
We saw this charming thatched roof cottage somewhere on our trip, and the thatch looks brand new as if it had only been recently installed – it is very difficult to find a thatcher to re-roof a cottage these days, and the cost is very high.