Eye Castle and The Pennings
The ruined Eye Castle is a scheduled ancient monument located within the town of Eye. The original castle was a small Norman ‘motte and bailey’ built around 1068 following the Norman conquest of England. The motte is the high defensive mound which would have had a keep on the top whilst the ‘bailey’ is the level area in front of the mound.
Today, the ruins of a 19th century folly are situated on the summit of the motte and can be accessed by a flight of stone steps for spectacular views of the town and surrounding countryside. The original line of the ‘outer bailey’ can still be seen as the line of buildings following the streets around the castle. Sections of the curtain wall that once circled the ‘inner bailey’ are all that remain of the 12th century castle that once dominated the site.
The castle was only important for around 200 years and fell into disrepair in the late 13th century. The castle site was later used as a jail, a private house, a workhouse and a school. New interpretation on site tells the story of Eye Castle and its links to both local and national events.
At the foot of the motte the level grassy area is popular for picnics whilst in the Summer months children’s activities and outdoor theatre productions are regularly held on site.
The castle grounds are open from Easter to October between 9am and early evening each day and at weekends during the winter months. There is no parking on site. Please use the town centre car park from where, a waymarked route leads to the castle. Eye is an attractive market town with a wonderful church, many old houses and places to eat and drink. It is well worth a visit.
OS Grid ref: TM 147737 (Explorer 230)
Postcode IP23 7AP
Area: 0.3 hectares.