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MARKET TOWNS OF NORFOLK (from SDUK Penny Cyclopedia)

Castle Rising in 1838

Castle Rising, also in the hundred of Freebridge Lynn, 5 miles north-west of Lynn, and 2 miles from the Wash, on the Rising or Habingly river, is a place of great antiquity ; an old verse, preserved by tradition, declares that ‘Rising was a seaport town when Lynn was but a marsh.’ It is thought that Alfred the Great built a castle here ; at any rate William de Albini, to whose ancestors the Conqueror gave several lordships in the county, built a castle here before 1176 ; and this edifice appears to enclose a fragment of a more ancient building.

The trade of the place was considerable, and the town was incorporated, but at what period is not clear ; however, the harbour, being choked up with sand, was deserted, and the place fell into decay. It received the elective franchise in the time of Philip and Mary ; but from the decay of the town the number of voters was diminished to two or three, when the franchise was taken away by the Reform Act. The corporation has almost dwindled away. The parish and borough contains 2,330 acres, with a population, in 1831, of 358, more than half agricultural.

There are considerable remains of the castle ; the keep is standing, though much dilapidated ; the walls are three yards thick, and the division and arrangement of the apartments are very obvious. It stands in a ballium or court surrounded by a moat and embankment. The general style of the building is Norman, and bears a resemblance to that of Norwich castle. Isabella of France, queen of Edward II, was kept in confinement in this castle by her son Edward III, from A.D. 1330 till her death in 1358.

The church is a very ancient structure ; the west front is of remarkably fine Norman composition ; it has a fine doorway with varied moulding, and a large window above, with a series of intersecting arches on each side. The font is ancient and highly ornamented. The living is a rectory consolidated with that of Roydon, of the clear yearly value of £419, with a glebe-house. There were, in 1833, two day-schools, with 67 children, and two Sunday-schools, with 61 children.