In 1068, the Normans constructed a motte and bailey castle where, centuries earlier, the Roman invaders had built their legionary fortress

The castle's commanding position afforded far-reaching views, and also served as a reminder to the surrounding population that the Normans were in charge. As well as serving as a judicial power- base on the main route between north and south, the castle was also a bulwark against local resistance, led by Hereward the Wake, in the Fens.

In the late 11th century, the castle's temporary enclosure of wooden stakes was replaced with walls built in stone. The permanent stone 'shell' keep of Lucy Tower, thought to have been built in the early 12th century, took the place of the original wooden keep on the huge earth mound.

Recent scholarship, and archaeological excavations, suggest that the castle had an additional bailey extending beyond the perimeter of the current castle grounds. It seems the Normans re-used the original walls of Lindum Colonia to enclose this outer bailey. The colony had been founded by the Romans after their army had moved on around AD78. If so, the castle would have enclosed the upper city, still known as the Bail, and the Norman cathedral consecrated in 1092.

William the Conqueror's Castle and Cathedral

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