Caister Castle, Norfolk
Caister Castle, built on the site of an earlier fortified manor house, was an early specimen of brick and built by Sir John Fastolf about 1443 who was a forceful but hardly amiable man. Sir John was quite undeservedly branded as a coward in the French wars, and has besides got mixed up in people's minds with Shakespeare's Falstaff. He died in 1459 and the castle was captured by Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolk and taken after a long siege. The castle suffered severe damage when it was finally taken in 1469. The castle's tower is still intact.
The castle then moved into the hands of the Paston family following disputes over Sir John Fastolf's will and was theirs until the middle of the seventeenth century. In the Paston Letters - the family's correspondence documenting their struggle to maintain their social position during the Wars of the Roses - the castle features prominently. William of Worcester, a secretary of Fastolf, tells of a second siege and capture by Lord Scales.
It is a picturesque ruin, moated, with one large tower at the at the north-west. The tower is 28 metres tall and measures a good 7 metres in diameter; it has five stories, the spiral staircase still exists and access to the top is possible. Previously it surrounded a quadrangle, the great hall being on the west side. Part of the surrounding brick wall remains and gunloops as well as arrow loops can still be seen. The south and east sides have long since gone. To the east are the remains of a church.