Thetford council’s proposal to protect ancient site

Castle Hill, Thetford. Photo by Maria Schepers.
Castle Hill, Thetford. Photo by Maria Schepers.
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Steps and a viewing platform could soon give people a different perspective of an ancient site in Thetford.

Visitors to Castle Hill, the remnants of Thetford’s former medieval castle, are unknowingly causing damage to the historical site.

But Thetford Town Council thinks it has the answer and is looking at building steps to the top of the 80-feet high motte, also known as Castle Mound and Military Parade, and a viewing platform to allow people to see all around it.

It also hopes to be able to install directional indicators to show people the locations of other significant sites in the town including Boudicca’s ‘palace’ on the northern outskirts of Thetford.

Maurice Howard, clerk to Thetford Town Council, said: “People always climb it [Castle Hill] because of the viewing experience they get at the top and they’re eroding the site.”

He said the proposals would make it ‘a nice touristy type of experience’ while helping to preserve the important historical attraction.

Corinne Fulford, of Leaping Hare, which provides Thetford’s Great Information Centre, said she thought it was a ‘brilliant idea’ because Castle Hill is one of the key sites on its heritage walk and a ‘very popular’ place to be.

She said: “The idea of having steps and a viewing platform is, I think, a great idea because it’s too precarious to scramble up and very damaging for the site.

“It will enable the site to be more accessible for everyone and give visitors a different view of Thetford so I’d say it’s absolutely brilliant.”

Tenders from companies wanting to carry out the work are due in next week.

The council’s amenities committee will then consider if the funding required is within budget before putting it to full council on March 29.