Castle Rising, King's Lynn, Norfolk

History of Castle Rising

The mighty Castle Rising in Norfolk has been standing since the 12th century, when it was built by the Norman lord, William d’Aubigny, for his new wife, Adeliza of Louvain, the widow of Henry I.

It’s one of England’s most famous castles, featuring one of the finest examples of a 12th century Keep available anywhere in the British Isles. It’s perhaps most famous, though, for one of its past residents, Queen Isabella, wife of Edward II.

Isabella The She Wolf of France
Isabella ‘The She Wolf of France’

The youngest living child of King Philip IV of France (Philip the Fair), Isabella revered for her beauty, intelligence, and charisma, arrived in England at 12 to marry Edward II.

Their marriage was fraught with difficulty as Edward’s love focused on his close male friends, Piers Galveston, and later, Hugh Despenser the Younger.

Isabella’s affection for her husband deteriorated, and by 1325 she considered her union over as she travelled with her lover Roger Mortimer back to France. There Isabella and Roger hatched a plan to depose the unpopular Edward in favour of his son, Edward III.

Within the year, Queen Isabella and Mortimer returned to England with a small mercenary army, successfully carrying out their plan as the King’s men stepped aside. Isabella, therefore, became the Queen regent of England on behalf of her son.

Edward, the young King, was growing ever wary of the growing power of his mother’s lover Roger, so he arranged a raid on his home in Nottingham where he stayed with Isabella. Isabella pleaded for his release, but in 1330 Roger was hanged at Tyburn – executed for the murder of Edward II.

Isabella lost her regency and was ordered to return to Castle Rising and never leave the Castle grounds. He provided her with servants, and it’s said she led a pretty lavish lifestyle. However, with her seclusion, she became mentally ill and passed away insane and alone in 1358.

Ghosts of Castle Rising

Queen Isabella

Queen Isabella’s crazed ghost is said to haunt the castle to this day. Locals often report hearing her manic laughter and shrieking from across the countryside.

Her spirit has been heard pacing the castles’ upper floors, particularly from the White Room, one of the Queen’s favourite areas of the Castle. It’s in this area her apparition has been seen, and her shadowy figure captured in photographs.

Other Paranormal Reports

The sound of children weeping has been heard throughout the Castle, and people have also experienced a strange tapping in windows and the feeling of being watched and not welcome.

Paranormal investigators visiting the Castle have reported strange mist like figures on photographs and interactions through various pieces of paranormal equipment.

Ghost Hunts in East Anglia


Visiting Castle Rising

Castle Rising is open to the public year-round Wednesday through Sunday, 10am – 4pm. Adults are priced at £5.00, children £3.50 (5-17), and concessions are £4.00. Family tickets are available too, with two adults and three children priced at £15.00. If you’re a member of English Heritage, you can tour the Castle for free.

Address: Lynn Rd, King’s Lynn PE31 6AH

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