Christchurch Castle // Christchurch

Christchurch Castle
Christchurch Castle - Norman House interior
Photo: © Jim Linwood / CC BY-SA 3.0
Christchurch Castle - Constable's House

The remains of Norman motte and bailey castle set overlooking the town and River Avon below. The site also contains the 12th-century riverside "Constables House", a rare example of an early Norman dwelling.

Managed by English Heritage are the remains of Christchurch Castle, a Norman fort that dates back to the 11th century and dominates the River Avon's lower crossing. It is believed that prior to the castle's construction there was a settlement on the site named Twyneham with a wooden fort dating back to 924AD. The site of Christchurch Castle was originally a monastery.

The Norman castle was originally built to protect the town and river access to Wessex. The castle itself sits within the Saxon fort walls that were used to build the castle motte.

During the 12th century a thriving community existed in and around the castle. Within the grounds is Contable's House, built around 1150, it stands next to the castle and is a rare example of a Norman domestic building complete with original chimney.