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Bungay Castle link project to begin

PUBLISHED: 11:19 11 December 2009 | UPDATED: 08:58 01 August 2010

WORK will start soon on a project to link Bungay's ruined castle with Castle Hills for the first time for several centuries.

Bungay Castle Trust has just bought an area of land off Castle Lane that will tie the two ancient sites in a project financed mainly by a £53,000 grant from Suffolk Environmental Trust.

WORK will start soon on a project to link Bungay's ruined castle with Castle Hills for the first time for several centuries.

Bungay Castle Trust has just bought an area of land off Castle Lane that will tie the two ancient sites in a project financed mainly by a £53,000 grant from Suffolk Environmental Trust.

All being well, the Castle Link project will be completed in time for the summer tourist season, when people will be able to go on a circular walk of the enlarged site featuring signposts and information boards.

Chris Reeve, who has been nominated by the trust to manage the scheme, said work should start before Christmas to clear scrub from the purchased land. “It will be cleared from the whole of the link site so we can reveal the nature of the site and find out where the existing steps are, to provide access down to Castle Lane,” he added.

“Suffolk archaeologists have requested that we use one of the existing routes. We think there are three sets of steps buried under the growth, but it may be that we cannot use them and have to build new ones.”

The site is a scheduled monument under the protection of English Heritage, and county archaeologists have to be involved because it forms part of the outer defensive earthworks of the castle site, of which Castle Hills are part. One particular section of rubble is thought to have belonged to a medieval building and will be investigated and logged if necessary as work progresses.

“It is a very exciting project,” said Mr Reeve. “The link route will run from the castle and the castle bailey down to the Castle Hills and back to the castle, providing a circular walk for tourists.

“Benches will be sited on the cleared area, which gives a superb view across the river valley to Earsham, a view you don't get at the moment.

“It will be a big boost to the town's tourism, and also for schools doing research into Bungay's local history; it will be of great value to students' learning,”

The castle was built by Earl Hugh Bigod in the 12th century, but when he fell out with the king an army was sent to destroy it - with only partial succ-ess. The castle was rebuilt in 1294 by his successor, Roger Bigod, later abandoned and then fell into disrepair.

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