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Hedingham’s Tudor Castle Restoration Project
Hedingham Castle, with its imposing 900-year-old Norman Keep, is the birthplace of Edward de Vere. During recent lockdown projects around the Estate, some ancient foundations and brickwork have been uncovered, near the bottom of the bailey of the Keep, of what was the Tudor Castle, a slightly later red brick building built by John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford in 1498 prior to the visit of King Henry VII. This imposing building to the west of the Keep would have housed a chapel, hall, bakehouse, kitchen and pantries, as well as the home of the Earl of Oxford. These have now all gone, but many of the materials have been used again, some in the church tower in the village of Castle Hedingham, and some in the mansion house.
The remaining brickwork is in desperate need of consolidation, to stop any further erosion and collapse and to preserve what is left so that an archaelogical investigation can be carried out to find out more about these fascinating ruins. It is evident that the foundations extend further below and outwards from the brickwork that is currently visible and the project would be able to uncover these fully and learn more about this building which was once the main house of the de Veres. The two octagonal sections that can be seen may have possibly been stairwells of the Castle and the investigation might give some clues about the floorplan of the building.