Favourite locations: Baconsthorpe Castle

In the “Favourite Locations" articles we will be asking photographers to tell us about a particular location that they simply love to photograph.

It might be a small, local site that only a few people know about, or a huge expanse that requires some expert knowledge to get the best out of. It doesn't matter whether it's within walking distance or a day's plane flight away; it's all about the location, location, location.

Here, Ben Weeks tells us about Baconsthorpe castle in Norfolk and why it is one of his favourite places to photograph.

What?

Baconsthorpe Castle is the ruins of a moated and fortified 15th century manor house nestled in a secluded part of the Norfolk countryside. Owned and managed by English Heritage, the site and remains of the Grade I listed building are free to access.

From English Heritage:

The extensive ruins of Baconsthorpe Castle are a testament to the rise and fall of a prominent Norfolk family, the Heydons. Over 200 years, successive generations of this ambitious family built, then enlarged, and finally abandoned this castle.

Sir John Heydon probably built the strong inner gatehouse during the turbulent Wars of the Roses period, and his son Sir Henry completed the fortified house. In more peaceful times, their descendants converted part of the property into a textile factory, and then added the turreted Elizabethan outer gateway, inhabited until 1920.

 

Where?

Baconsthorpe Castle is situated off an unclassified road/farm track 3/4 mile to the north of the village of Baconsthorpe and 3 miles east of Holt in the Norfolk, England.
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When?

Open to the public at any reasonable hour all year round, there really isn't a bad time to visit Baconsthorpe Castle. It's one of those locations that has a special feel to it whatever the weather and season. Because of its remote situation, in Winter when the skies are grey it can seem a lonely, abandoned site; the derelict flint construction cold and unwelcoming and full of drama. In Summer, basked in sunshine it's a beautiful place to sit and while away the hours in peace and tranquillity.

But perhaps my favourite times to visit Baconsthorpe Castle are early morning or late afternoon in Spring or Autumn, when the low sun casts an inviting glow across the stone, creating long shadows and giving the buildings a warm hue. Then, more than at any other time, Baconsthorpe Castle seems to radiate the history it is full of.

Why?

Have you not been paying attention? Ruined buildings? Long shadows? Drama filled dereliction? It's a photographer's dream! Whether you're focussing on the architectural details of the buildings themselves, or taking in the whole site and its lake and moat surroundings, Baconsthorpe Castle offers shots or every lens in any direction.

Black and white or colour, macro or wide-angle, dedicated SLR photo composer or happy-snappy point-and-shoot compact user, anybody with any camera of any type would struggle to leave Baconsthorpe Castle without a great shot on their memory card. If you live in Norfolk or are visiting the area, I whole-heartedly recommend a visit. It’s a beautiful place that keeps drawing me back time and time again.

Do you have a particular location you'd like to share with fellow photographers? Do you know a special spot that is so beautiful makes it almost impossible to take bad photos? Have you stumbled off the beaten path and found a landscape that others should know about?

If so, we'd love you to write a Favourite Location article for the WEX Blog! Simply write to us telling us what the location is, where it can be found, when people should visit and why it's one of your favourite places, plus include any of your own photos that show the location at its best.

We're hoping to publish one of these a month, so get thinking, shooting and writing and send your submissions to blog@wexphotographic.com.