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The Fortress at the Bottom of Two Hills........Folkingham Castle

 

Folkingham Manor extended to twenty seven villages, including the community of Falchingeham, and during Saxon times was held by Ulf of Fenisc, it being his principal estate and seat.

During the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Gilbert de Gant accompanied his uncle; William the Conqueror. For his help in defeating the resident Saxons he received lands as his share of the winner’s plunder, and by 1086 had become one of the most substantial land owners in England; according to the Domesday book, holding 172 manors in 14 shires. Like Ulf, Gilbert made his seat in Folkingham, and married Alice de Montfort

In the lawless late 11th Century, to protect the seat of Gilbert de Gant, a castle was constructed. There is very little remaining evidence, other than some earthworks, of the bailey fortress and earth and timber ringwork fortification which would have been built, most likely from local timber. These were often constructed in two parts, the keep on the flat topped hill, with the bailey at its base, as depicted in this drawing…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The principal was that, being in two parts, invaders have to overcome the lower bailey and then have to fight uphill to attack the keep. The defenders could cut themselves off by destroying the Flying Bridge, making it more difficult for the attackers.

Folkingham was one of a line of Norman Castles: Lincoln owned by William the Conqueror, Sleaford by the Bishop of Lincoln, Folkingham by Gilbert de Gant (or Ghent), Bourne by the de Wakes, Castle Bytham by Drogo the Conqueror’s nephew