Muckleburgh Collection & Baconsthorpe Castle

North Norfolk Day Two:

A few fields over from our cottage is the site of the one time Weybourne military camp. Now occupying part of that site is the Muckleburgh Collection, a private military museum which first opened its doors to the public in 1988. Brought up on a diet of WWII footage in All Our Yesterdays and the exploits of comic book heroes such as Matt Braddock and Sergeant Bob Miller in The Victor for me this was a must see.

The initial couple of rooms in the museum didn’t do much for me (collections of medals, pictures and other military ephemera) but you then reach the main exhibit halls and the big stuff: Armoured cars, artillery, battle tanks, tank transporters, missile launchers and other military hardware. My favourite piece of kit was a Czechoslovakian Bridge Layer – basically a tank with an hydraulically operated bridge strapped on its back. The one in the collection is from the cold war period but the Czech’s used similar equipment at the siege of Dunkirk to quickly reestablished logistics routes when normal road bridges had been put out of action.

In the afternoon we headed for Baconsthorpe Castle a moated and fortified 15th century manor house whose extensive ruins can be found a few miles to the south east of Holt. The inner part of castle and gatehouse were built by Sir John Heydon during the Wars of the Roses while later generations of the Heydon family continued to extend it by adding a further gatehouse, a man-made lake and a walled quadrangle that would have contained a range of domestic and service buildings. During the Tudor era this part of the castle became a wool processing factory. After the Civil War the castle fell into disrepair and parts of it were demolished and the stone sold off to clear estate debts.

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