History on your doorstep...
As you sit on the pretty village green and watch the world go by at a gentle pace, it’s incredible to think that Castle Acre once played a major role in history. Yet the Norman ruins of Castle Acre Castle and Castle Acre Priory, respectively east and west of the village, are reminders of the village’s grand ancestry when royalty would regularly arrive at the Bailey Gate and enjoy days spent hunting in the deer park.
The priory, now the charge of English Heritage, once housed a community of monks until Henry VIII disbanded monastic houses in 1537. You can still admire the beauty of the church gable and cloisters – run your fingers through the scented plants in the herb garden which the brothers would have used for daily cooking and healing centuries ago.
For a restorative moment today, head to The Ostrich which has been serving locals since the 1800s and was recently renovated by local building firm Grocott and Murfitt as a fantastic gastro-pub. Enjoy a bite and a reviving glass and wander along the High Street to Castle Antiques and Collectables to discover a curio or chic addition for your home.
At the meeting point of the Roman Peddars Way, the River Nar runs to the south of the village, leading east to Newton and on to the hamlet of Fiddler’s Green. Follow the Massingham Road north west and you’ll happen upon Castle Acre Water Tower, saved by photographer Dennis Pedersen who bought the once derelict wreck for just £25,000 and turned it into a contemporary spaceship-inspired family home with panoramic views over barley fields.
Of course there are plenty of traditional period homes, many lining the village green where pretty flint cottages are covered in rose blooms in the height of summer, along with newer properties to be discovered. With a local store and Post Office, a popular café, fish and chip shop and even a small, independent bookstore, it’s easy to see why so many people find their forever home in Castle Acre.