Motte and bailey castle.
The site covered 2 acres internally and 4 acres in total. Was surrounded by a high wall. The moat measured 40ft wide. Drawbridge was situated to the west.
Site defended by the Saxons against the Danes.
1072 A castle was built by William the Conqueror
1215-1219 Owned by the Church. Entrusted to Ralph de Normanville, Robert de Cantia and Richard Poore, Bishop of Salisbury.
1216 King John visited the castle.
1236 The castle was badly damaged through flooding.
1246 William Justice was Constable.
1262 Simon de Dullingham was Constable.
1291 John de Lacy broke out of the prison – and he received a pardon.
1292 Visited by Edward I.
1297 John de Dromore of Scotland was a prisoner at the castle.
1298 Visited by Edward I.
13 C Mainly used as a prison and for holding the Bishop’s Court.
1300 Visited by Edward I.
1305 Visited by Edward I.
1308 Richard de Halstead was Constable.
1314 Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, and the wife of Robert Brus were held in the castle.
1315 Richard Lambert was illegally held and died from toads eating at him.
1350 Bailiff, threatened the constable and laid siege to the castle. Following this a garrison was installed.
1360 A number of prisoners escaped.
1372 A new gate was added at Dugdale.
1401 Thomas de Bramstone was Constable.
1403 Sir John de Rochford was Constable.
1409 New flood gates were added.
1410 Sir John de Colville was Constable.
1414 The Earl of Doncaster bought Dominus Heyle and other prisoners to the castle.
1446 Sir Andrew Hoggard (Ogard) was Constable.
1460-1461 c; The castle made a profit of £100
1476 Sir Thomas Grey was Constable. Repairs undertaken.
1478-1483 Rebuilt by Bishop Morton and Bishop Alcock.
1489 Sir Thomas Hobard was Constable.
15 C Fell into disrepair.
1500 Bishop Morton, founder of Jesus College, Cambridge, died at the castle.
1513 The Dove Cote was destroyed.
1525 Walter and Thomas Hubbard were Constables.
1531 Thomas Megges and Sir Richard Cromwell were constables.
1553 Robert Dudley made the castle his headquarters.
1553 14/24 July; Thomas Carwell Edmund Beaupre of Outwell and John Dethick were ordered by Queen Mary to take the castle.
1558-1603 During; used as a prison for Catholic prisoners. Thirty three are recorded during this period.
1580 The Bishop was ordered to strengthen the castle, in order for it to hold prisoners.
1580 October; eight priests were imprisoned in the castle.
1584 Thomas Whyte, Bishop of Lincoln, was held and died at the castle.
1585 John Freckingham, last Abbot of Westminster, was held and died at the castle. The ditch was still intact.
1587 Thomas Watson, Bishop of Lincoln, was held and died at the castle.
1590 The castle keeper, Thomas Grey had allegations made against him, so the townspeople were appointed to help him with the prisoners.
1597 William Medley and William Brewster were in charge of the prisoners.
1598 Some prisoners were moved to the Tower of London.
1602 Thirty six prisoners, priests, were moved to Framlingham Castle.
1605 William Chester, Sen. Esq., was Constable. Famous prisoners included Robert Catesby and Francis Tresham, who were involved in the Gunpowder Plot.
1606 Bishop Heaton reported that George Smith, a prisoner, had apparently changed faith.
1607 William Chester was constable and paid £75 12s for feeding the prisoners.
1609-1619 Between; Bishop Andrews spent £2000 on the castle.
1615 Twenty four priests were bought to the castle, as prisoners, from London.
1618 Nine priests were deported.
1627 The Constable was made accountable for the nine deported priests.
1628 There were no more prisoners at the castle but it was still considered a place where prisoners could be kept.
1631-1638 Between; Bishop White spent a large amount of money on the castle.
1633 Matthias Taylor, Esq., was Constable.
1642-1651 During the Civil War; Held by Parliament. Demolished by its owner, John Thurloe, Secretary of State to the Protectorate. He built a new house on the site.
1653 At the Restoration the site went back to the Bishops of Ely and was leased out.
1793 Bought by Joseph Medworth. He demolished the out buildings and built The Crescent.
1794 Joseph Medworth demolished the house and built a new one on the site.
1816 Joseph Medworth’s new house was completed.
1827 Joseph Medworth died and it was bought by the Peckover family. They leased it out. It became a school, then a dental surgery, than an opticians.
19 C Bought by Mr and Mrs. Fendick.
1969 Mrs Gordon Fendick gave the house to Cambridgeshire Education Authority
20 C Late; Turned into a living museum and used for education training.