|Orford Castle Keep , from the car park|
Laura had genuinely appeared to connect with the Keep and has continued to pick up new pieces of information, relating to both the building itself and those connected to it, to the extent that we’ve now both reached the point, after several months, where we are exhausted and just wish that we’d simply experienced a straight forward trip to the Castle back in August.
|The central window in the Well Room|
|Window to Well Room - outside view|
We returned to the car to greet our friends and, after exchanging pleasantries, made our way back up the path to visit the Keep itself.
With no planned agenda, we initially visited the location of Laura's previous discovery, the petroglyph, or hand print (EH verifies Petroglyph) and, at this point separated, allowing Laura some time to inspect the various areas of the Castle on her own, to see if she could pick anything else up.
The Upper Hall
Our first port of call was the Upper Hall, where Laura had stated that the man had the argument with the young woman had started.
If Laura was correct, I was looking for 'exit' where the woman was pushed, or fallen out of the Keep to the ground below, beneath the entrance to the Keep. The most obvious places to me were the windows, but these were not above the entrance.
However, just before you entered the Upper Hall, on the staircase, there were a set of french windows to an outside battlement. The windows were locked, so I could not inspect the battlement more closely, but I could see that the battlement was in fact the roof of the chapel, which was directly above the entrance to the Keep. Again, Laura's information appeared to be correct.
The Well Room
|Laura examines the former entrance to |
the garderobes, now blocked, where she'd
previously discovered the handprint
It would have been a simple matter for one of the men to push the girl's body through one of the windows and down the shaft to his partner in crime below.
|A close up of the shaft leading up to a|
window in the Well Room
|The mysterious course of brickwork beneath the entrance to the|
Keep - did they indicate another entrance to the building, now
erased from history?
|The position of the possible doorway, indicated by the 'X' in|
the lower diagram
I have been privileged in the past to clamber down through the trapdoor and down the ladder to explore the dungeon area several years ago, but, unfortunately, I took no photographs and my memory of the Prison was sketchy as to the details.
Looking at the floor plan to the basement more closely, I could see that on the opposite side of the wall to where we calculated the door was, there was an indentation shown on the plan. Was this another indication of the former doorway?
Only time will tell,
1. P.16 Orford Castle - R. Allen Brown, 1964
2. P.17 Orford Castle - R. Allen Brown, 1964
3. Chronicon Anglicanum - Ralph of Coggeshall, 1200