Norman motte and bailey with remains of keep. Traces of stone buildings and a barbican.
This is a village about five miles N. of Norwich, near St. Faith’s, and close to it is the site of an ancient castle belonging to the lords of this manor, who took their name from the place. The town was first given to Robert Millet, Baron of Eye, after the Conquest, and he enfeoffed one of his knights, Walter de Cadamo (said by some to have been his younger brother), who had attended him to England, of this lordship, to be held of the honour of Eye. Here this Walter built him a castle, the ruins of which, even in Camden’s days, were overgrown with bushes and briars; there was once an extensive park around it. Walter’s sons adopted the name of their mother, who was Isabel de Cheyney, but only the third left any issue, namely, a daughter, Margaret, who married Hugh de Cressy, a justice itinerant in the twenty-first year of Henry II. His son Roger opposed King John, and thereby lost his lands, but his son, Hugh de Cressy, recovered them from Henry III. on payment of a fine of £100.
Soon after, this estate passed in marriage to the FitzRoger family, of Warkworth, Northumberland, and from them, by successive heiresses, to the families of de Audley, de Ufford (in 1374), and to Sir William Bowet (temp. Henry V.), whose daughter brought it to Sir Thomas Dacre, the heir of Thomas, Lord Dacre, of Gillesland, and with this family the lands remained till 37 Elizabeth, when a Dacre heiress married Sampson Leonard, or Lennard, and thenceforth this family became the Dacres of the South and held Horsford till the middle of the 18th century.
The site of the castle may still be traced by the moat which encircled it, and by the keep which stood about 50 feet from the moat, and was surrounded by its own moat ; “though this building seems to have been rather a station for observation in the outward works of the castle, for the area on top is too small to have contained a building of any size.” (Blomefield.) There are also some circular earthworks there. (Castles Of England, Sir James D. Mackenzie, 1896)