In 1175 a group of carpenters and masons, led by Alnoth the Engineer, travelled to Suffolk to dismantle Framlingham Castle on royal orders. King Henry II ordered that the castle should be knocked down because Earl Hugh Bigod had joined a rebellion against his rule.
Framlingham Castle demolished 1175, catalogue ref: E372/22, rot. 5, m.1, Pipe Rolls, Henry II, 22, 1175-1176, p. 60
Et in custamento prosternendi castri Waleton’ .XXXj. l. et .viij. s. et. iij. D. per breve regis et per visum Roberti de Willauesham et Ailnođi ingeniatoris. Et pro prosternendo castro de Framingeham .vij. l. et .x. s. et. vj. d. per idem breve et per visum predictorum.
Payment of £7 10s 6d (seven pounds, ten shillings and six pence) to Alnoth the engineer for dismantling the castle of Framlingham, by order of the king.
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- Do you think this order would have changed Alnoth’s opinion of castles?
- Clue: think about what a castle might represent: an intimidating fortress? An impressive building? An important centre of government? A building to be demolished like any other – all part of the day job?