Norman Sites and Norman Historical Places

If you’re looking to explore Norman sites and want to find the best places to view Norman history then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

There’s a great selection of Norman sites and Norman ruins and you can plan some fantastic things to see on your trips. Once you’ve explored the list of Norman sites and selected those you wish to visit you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook. This indispensible holiday guide will help you make the most of your time exploring Norman sites

Our database of historic places is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other Norman sites, remains or ruins, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

The Normans: Site Index

Photo by @lain G (cc)

Abbaye aux Hommes

The Abbaye aux Hommes is an 11th century Romanesque abbey church in Caen, Normandy, known for being William the Conqueror’s gravesite.

The Abbaye aux Hommes in Caen, also known as the Abbey of Saint-Étienne, is a beautiful 11th century Romanesque abbey church known for being William the Conqueror’s gravesite. Consecrated in 1077, William built the Abbaye aux Hommes as atonement for his marriage to Matilda of Flanders, which the Pope had... Read More

Photo by Chris. P (cc)

Arundel Castle

Originally built in the 11th Century, Arundel Castle is the historic home of the Dukes of Norfolk and has been continually occupied and renovated over the centuries.

Arundel Castle is the historic home of the Dukes of Norfolk and has been occupied by their line for over 850 years. Amongst the dynasties to have inhabited Arundel Castle was the highly influential Howard family whose number included Catherine Howard, wife of Henry VIII. The first structure on the... Read More

Photo by lizjones112 (cc)

Ashby Castle

Ashby Castle was a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War.

Ashby Castle or ‘Ashby de la Zouch’ is a twelfth century manor house turned castle, the ruins of which can be seen in Leicestershire. Originally constructed during Norman times, Ashby Castle was the property of the Zouch family until the end of the fourteenth century. Expanded and renovated, Ashby Castle achieved... Read More

Photo by llewellyn_jenkins (cc)

Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle is a grand structure which looms high upon a crag overlooking the coast of Northumberland.

Bamburgh Castle is a grand structure which looms high upon a crag overlooking the coast of Northumberland. It looks like everything one would expect of the former home of the kings of Northumbria, even though the castle which currently stands is actually relatively young. The site upon which Bamburgh Castle is... Read More

Photo by yashima (cc)

Barnard Castle

Barnard Castle contains the ruins of a Norman stronghold which was later owned by Richard III.

The charming ruins of Barnard Castle in County Durham sit above the small market town of the same name. The first stone fortifications were built on the site by the Norman lord Guy de Baliol, who was granted the estate by William Rufus in 1095AD. However, it was under his nephew... Read More

Photo by rowland_rick (cc)

Battle Abbey and Battlefield

Battle Abbey and Battlefield is an iconic site in England, being the location of the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Battle Abbey and Battlefield, also known as 'Hastings Battlefield', was the site of the Battle of Hastings in October 1066. The Battle of Hasting saw William, Duke of Normandy, become William I, King of England after defeating King Harold II, who was killed in the conflict. William I is also known... Read More

Photo by hartjeff12 (cc)

Berkeley Castle

Berkeley Castle was originally built nearly 1,000 years ago, but since then has undergone a number of changes and has been the site of many interesting – and sometimes bloody – events.

Berkeley Castle has been a feature of the Gloucestershire countryside since the 11th Century. Built by William FitzOsbern in 1067, it was one of many motte-and-bailey castles constructed by the Normans shortly after the Conquest of 1066. Before long it passed into the hands of the Berkeley family and was... Read More

Photo by Charles D P Miller (cc)

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle is a medieval complex comprised of a range of styles and with a diverse history dating back to the Romans.

Cardiff Castle is a medieval complex comprised of a range of styles and with a diverse history. With its good access to the sea, the site of Cardiff Castle was first home to a succession of Roman forts, initially built in the mid first century AD. In the eleventh century, the... Read More

Photo by donnamarijne (cc)

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman-built fortification which was in continual use as a military stronghold for over 700 years. Today a number of exhibitions about the history of the castle and the local area are on show within the castle itself.

Carrickfergus Castle was established in 1177 and remained a prominent stronghold in Northern Ireland for over 700 years. Originally built by the Anglo-Norman nobleman John de Courcy, Carrickfergus Castle was modified repeatedly over the centuries as new weapons, tactics and threats brought fresh challenges to those defending the area. Significant works... Read More

Photo by LHOON (cc)

Castle Keep

Castle Keep in Newcastle upon Tyne is one of the city’s most famous attractions and one of the best preserved Norman fortifications in the country.

Castle Keep in Newcastle upon Tyne is a partially restored Norman fortification and one of the best preserved of its kind in Britain. Built at a key strategic location, the site of Castle Keep has been occupied for almost 2,000 years with the Romans first fortifying the site in the mid-2nd... Read More

Photo by David Joyce (cc)

Castle Rising

Castle Rising is a ruined Norman fortification in Norfolk which was once home to Queen Isabella, widow of Edward II and mother of Edward III.

Castle Rising is a ruined Norman fortification in Norfolk which is now one of the best preserved and castle-keeps in England. First constructred by the Anglo-Norman lord William d'Aubigny in 1138, it later became the palace of Queen Isabella, widow of Edward II and mother of Edward III. Surrounded by twenty acres... Read More

Chateau de Pirou

One of the oldest Norman castles in existence, the Chateau de Pirou is picturesque, small and yet well-fortified.

The picturesque Chateau de Pirou in Normandy is one of the oldest Norman castles in existence and is now a popular attraction. The site has been occupied since the 9th century, although at that time it was a wooden construction and was updated to stone in the 12th century. It was... Read More

Photo by Annie Mole (cc)

Colchester Castle

Colchester Castle is a beautifully preserved Norman stronghold with a rich history dating back to Roman times, having been built on the site of the Temple of Claudius.

Colchester Castle is a beautifully preserved Norman stronghold with a rich history dating back to Roman times. Built from 1076 (some say from 1069) and completed in around 1100, Colchester Castle was constructed under the order of King William I for use as a royal fortress. Colchester Castle would go... Read More

Photo by Robert Brook (cc)

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle is the stunning ruin of a castle which has been everything from a royal residence to a military stronghold and even a prison.

Corfe Castle is the stunning ruin of a castle which has been everything from a royal residence to a military stronghold and even a prison. The current incarnation of Corfe Castle was built by William the Conqueror in around 1066, although even before this, the site was of great historical... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Dover Castle

The medieval Dover Castle is one of Britain’s most significant fortresses and has a fascinating and diverse history.

Dover Castle has been a vitally important fortress in English history, leading it to be known as 'the key to England'. Dover Castle’s location is a central aspect of this history. Perched high on the England’s coastal white cliffs overlooking the shortest crossing between the island and mainland Europe, Dover Castle... Read More

Photo by brianac37 (cc)

Dudley Castle

Dudley Castle is a ruined Norman motte and bailey castle which is now open to visitors and also hosts the popular Dudley Zoo within its grounds.

Dudley Castle is a ruined Norman motte and bailey castle which is now open to visitors and also hosts the popular Dudley Zoo within its grounds. Originally built in the 11th century it was constructed by Ansculf de Picquigny, one of the followers of William the Conqueror. It was rebuilt over... Read More

Photo by Nick Bramhall (cc)

Durham Castle

Formerly the home of the Bishops of Durham, Durham Castle dates back to the 11th Century.

Durham Castle is an eleventh century building and the former home of the Bishops of Durham. Originally commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1072, Durham Castle was intended to ensure Norman control in the North of England. Once under Church control, each bishop, on his appointment, would put his own stamp... Read More

Photo by Iain Simpson (cc)

Fotheringhay Castle

Fortheringhay Castle was the birthplace of Richard III and site of execution of Mary Queen of Scots

Birthplace of Richard III and site of the trial and execution of Mary Queen of Scots, this Norman motte and bailey castle is now a ruin - in fact very little is left of it today. Fortheringhay Castle is easily accessable during daylight hours, and should delight those interested in medieval... Read More

Photo by davidboeke (cc)

Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury Abbey is one of the most important historic abbeys in Britain and the legendary burial place of King Arthur.

Glastonbury Abbey is one of the most important historic abbeys in Britain and the focal point of myth, legend and important historical events. Although the original stone church of Glastonbury Abbey was constructed by Saxon King Ine of Wessex in around 712AD, the site has a history said to trace... Read More

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Goodrich Castle

Goodrich Castle is a picturesque Norman ruin in Herefordshire that was the site of a bitter siege during the English Civil War.

Goodrich Castle in Herefordshire is one of the most picturesque medieval ruins in the UK. Standing at the peak of a scenic woodland hilltop, this Norman fortification has attracted tourists to view its ethereal remains since the 18th century. The first recorded structure to be built on the Goodrich Castle site... Read More

Photo by Stephen Fulljames (cc)

Hastings Castle

Hastings Castle was one of the first Norman castles to be built in England.

Hastings Castle was originally built as a timber structure a short time after the Norman invader William the Conqueror landed in England in 1066. This was not far from the site where, shortly afterwards, William decisively defeated King Harold in one of the most significant battles in English history, the... Read More

Photo by stephanemartin (cc)

Jumieges Abbey

A picturesque Norman abbey which was partly destroyed during the French Revolution, Jumièges ranks among the most beautiful ruins in France.

Ranking among the most beautiful ruins in France, Jumièges Abbey now stands as a stark yet picturesque shell, all that remains of its once glorious past. In fact, Jumieges Abbey was one of the oldest monasteries in Western Europe, tracing its history back as far as the mid-7th century, when it... Read More

Photo by i_am_markh (cc)

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle is a former medieval stronghold and royal palace, most famed as the home of Elizabeth’s beloved Robert Dudley.

Kenilworth Castle is a former medieval stronghold and royal palace, most famed as the home of Elizabeth’s beloved Robert Dudley. It was King Henry I's treasurer, Geoffrey de Clinton, who built the vast Norman keep of Kenilworth Castle in the 1120s which can still be seen there today. ... Read More

Photo by pjo18 (cc)

Kidwelly Castle

Kidwelly Castle is a Norman masterpiece which still stands majestically in the calm Welsh countryside as a reminder of the tumultuous Anglo-Welsh past.

Kidwelly Castle has overlooked the river Gwendraeth and the town of Kidwelly since 1106, shortly after the Norman conquest. Originally intended to defend Norman - and therefore English - rule against the Welsh, Kidwelly Castle fell several times during revolts in the twelfth century. But it stood firm when besieged in... Read More

Photo by amandabhslater (cc)

King Johns Palace

King Johns Palace is a ruined Norman townhouse built around 1180AD, the remains of which are now open to the public.

King Johns Palace is a ruined Norman townhouse in Southampton, the remains of which are now open to the public. First built around 1180AD, the stone-built merchant’s house was later incorporated into the town’s defensive walls and gun ports were built into the structure. Despite this change the house continued to... Read More

Photo by dicktay2000 (cc)

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle in Kent was a twelfth century stronghold which has since served as a royal palace, a prison and as a stately home.

Leeds Castle was originally constructed as a fortification in 1119 by Robert de Crevecoeur, a lord under William the Conqueror. In 1278, Leeds Castle took on a different role, as a royal palace to King Edward I, who expanded it, adding further elements such as an impressive barbican. Leeds Castle passed through... Read More

Photo by Lincolnian (Brian) (cc)

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral is an imposing medieval structure with a history dating back to Norman times.

Lincoln Cathedral is an imposing medieval structure with a history dating back to Norman times. First consecrated in 1092, around 20 years after Lincoln was designated a seat of a bishopric, Lincoln Cathedral was then the home of medieval Britain’s first Norman Bishop, Remigius. Since that time, Lincoln Cathedral has been... Read More

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Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle, the finest of medieval ruined castles, set in glorious Shropshire countryside, at the heart of this superb, bustling black

Ludlow Castle, the finest of medieval ruined castles, set in glorious Shropshire countryside. Initially a Norman stronghold it then turned royal castle, the imposing ruins of which can be seen today. The castle’s origins can be traced back to the 11th century and to Walter de Lacy, a Norman nobleman... Read More

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Manorbier Castle

Described as the most pleasant spot in Wales, Manorbier is a well preserved medieval castle located on the Welsh coast in Pembrokeshire.

Nestled in a tranquil spot amidst the Welsh Countryside, Manorbier Castle is a pretty, partially-ruined Norman fortification which overlooks the scenic coastline. The notable 12th century author and one-time resident of Manorbier, Gerald of Wales, may have been biased when he described the castle as "the pleasantest spot in Wales" -... Read More

Photo by Allie_Caulfield (cc)

Monreale Cathedral

Monreale Cathedral is a twelfth century church near Palermo and an excellent example of Norman architecture.

Monreale Cathedral (Duomo Monreale) in Sicily is a fine example of Norman architecture. Constructed from 1172 under King William II and completed a few years later, Monreale Cathedral certainly met this monarch’s desire to create a magnificent church to rival any other, particularly that of Palatine. Every detail of Monreale Cathedral... Read More

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Mont Saint-Michel

An imposing rocky outcrop in Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel is the site of a stunning Romanesque Abbey, medieval church and historic battlements.

Mont Saint-Michel is an imposing historic village in Normandy, France which dominates the skyline from its position atop a small rocky island. Joined to the coast via a causeway, Mont Saint-Michel is best known for its Benedictine Abbey and Parish Church. A settlement in Roman times, Mont Saint-Michel was... Read More

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Okehampton Castle

Okehampton Castle was once Devon’s largest castle and was listed in the Doomsday Book.

Listed in the Doomsday Book of 1086, Okehampton Castle was built during Norman times and expanded in the fourteenth century, becoming the stately home of the Earl of Devon, Hugh Courtenay. Okehampton Castle remained in the ownership of the Courtenay family until 1538, when Henry Courtenay entered into a dispute with... Read More

Palazzo dei Normanni

Palazzo dei Normanni is a Norman palace expanded from a ninth century Islamic building.

Palazzo dei Normanni, also known as the Palazzo Reale, in Palermo in Sicily has been used as a place of governance for centuries and remains so today. In fact, it is currently the seat of Sicily’s regional government. Begun in the ninth century AD when Sicily was under Islamic rule, the... Read More

Palermo Cathedral

Palermo Cathedral dates back to Norman times and was the site of coronations and royal burials.

Palermo Cathedral (Cattedrale di Palermo) was founded in the 1184, but has since been added to over the centuries. As such, it boasts a rich mix of architectural styles ranging from Norman to Gothic and Catalan. Befitting the fact that it was originally built over the site of a mosque... Read More

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Pevensey Castle

Pevensey Castle is a picturesque ruin of a medieval castle built in the place where William the Conqueror landed in 1066.

Pevensey Castle is a Norman castle built upon the fourth century AD Roman fort of Anderida, the substantial remains of which are still visible today. Indeed, the main outer defensive walls of the larger Roman fortification have survived very much intact, forming a wider outer ring within which the main... Read More

Photo by Tim Green (cc)

Pontefract Castle

Originally a Norman structure, Pontefract castle played an increasingly important role in English Royal history for over 500 years. Today it lies in ruins but has much for visitors to enjoy, including its underground dungeons.

Pontefract Castle was a key strategic military stronghold in Northern England which played a crucial role in many of the country’s most bitter conflicts for over five hundred years. The land that now houses the remains of one of the most notorious castles in England was given to Ilbert de Lacy... Read More

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Portchester Castle

Portchester Castle has been a Roman fort, a Norman keep and even a wartime prison.

Portchester Castle in Hampshire offers a fantastic insight into various periods of British history and originally dates back to the Roman era. Built during Roman times, probably in the third century AD, Portchester Castle is the country’s only example of a Roman fort whose walls still stand complete up to... Read More

Photo by Darren Shilson (cc)

Restormel Castle

Restormel Castle was a 13th century castle in Cornwall, the pretty ruins of which are well preserved.

Restormel Castle was a stone castle defended by a moat and located on a large mound overlooking Cornwall. Its historic ruins, which date back to the late 13th and early 14th century and may have been built by King Edmund, are made up of a dramatic circular stone keep. It... Read More

Rouen Cathedral

Rouen Cathedral is the site where Richard the Lion Heart’s heart is buried.

Rouen Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen) is an historic gothic church, part of which dates back to 1145 and other aspects of which were reconstructed following a fire (and completed in 1250). Its famous façade, immortalised by the artist Claude Monet, was revamped in the fifteenth century. Imposing and dominated by... Read More

Photo by Neil T (cc)

Selby Abbey

In existence since 1069, Selby Abbey has been used for worship for over 900 years. In the heart of Yorkshire and often known as the hidden gem of the county, it is not especially well known despite being unmatched in its beauty and archaic stance.

Selby Abbey is a beautiful Norman church in the heart of Yorkshire, England, with a history dating back to 1069AD. The original Selby Abbey was constructed towards the end of the 11th century after a monk, known as Benedict of Auxerre, had a vision whereupon he was called by St. Germain... Read More

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St Mary’s Abbey

St Mary’s Abbey is a picturesque ruined Benedictine abbey in York, located in York Museum Gardens.

St Mary's Abbey is a picturesque ruined Benedictine abbey in York, located in York Museum Gardens. The abbey was founded in 1088 and the surviving ruins date from a rebuilding programme begun in 1270 and finished by 1294. One of the largest and richest Benedictine monasteries and one of the largest landholders... Read More

The Bayeux Tapestry Museum

The Bayeux Tapestry Museum holds the famous embroidered account of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

The Bayeux Tapestry Museum (Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux) is housed in a seminary in Bayeux called Centre Guillaume Le Conquerant and holds one of the most famous historical chronicles in the world, the Bayeux Tapestry. The Bayeux Tapestry is 230-foot wool embroidered account of William, Duke of Normandy’s conquest... Read More

Photo by Historvius

The Tower of London

The Tower of London is a famous fortress and prison originally commissioned by the first Norman king, William the Conqueror.

The Tower of London, originally known as the White Tower, was commissioned by the first Norman king, William the Conqueror and work on it was underway by the 1070s. It was designed as a fortress-stronghold, a role that remained unchanged right up until the late 19th century. The Tower of London... Read More

Photo by Mark Ramsay (cc)

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey is an iconic medieval structure and the site of many historic royal events, from coronations and weddings to burials.

Westminster Abbey is an iconic medieval structure and the site of many historic royal and national events, from coronations and weddings to burials and even deaths. Centrally located in London, Westminster Abbey was first constructed in the eleventh century by King Edward the Confessor, a Saxon king who dedicated this... Read More

Photo by Historvius

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey is a picturesque cliff-top ruin of the 13th century church which belonged to a Benedictine abbey in Yorkshire.

Whitby Abbey is a picturesque cliff-top ruin of the 13th century church of a Benedictine abbey in Yorkshire. An Anglo-Saxon monastery was actually first founded here by Northumbria’s King Oswy in 657AD, but nothing remains of this now. Instead, the jagged walls and arches that stand here are what are... Read More

Photo by aurélien (cc)

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is the oldest occupied castle in the world and the official home of the Queen.

Windsor Castle is the oldest occupied castle in the world. Covering an area of approximately 13 acres, it contains a wide range of interesting features. These include the State Apartments, Queen Mary’s dolls house and the beautiful St George’s Chapel. It is also the burial place of ten monarchs, including... Read More

Photo by By Neil T (cc)

York City Walls

The York City Walls are England’s most intact set of city walls and one of the city’s most popular attractions.

The York City Walls are England’s most complete set of city walls and one of the city’s most popular attractions. Made up of structures built at different times of the city’s history, resplendent with four main ornate stone gateways known as “bars” and 34 towers and offering a great way... Read More

Photo by By adactio (cc)

York Minster

York Minster is one of the largest gothic cathedrals in northern Europe, built by the Normans and expanded over the centuries.

York Minster is a vast gothic cathedral – one of the largest in Northern Europe – officially known as The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York. The term “Minster” is attributed to the cathedral as it was a teaching church founded by the Anglo Saxons. In fact, the... Read More