Detailed plan of curtain wall from 1988 excavations.

The Curtain Wall

The section of the inner bailey curtain wall is the only part of the late 12th century castle to survive above ground.

It consists of two square towers with rectangular chambers in between them. The western tower may have formed part of the gateway into the inner bailey, whilst the eastern tower was at the base of the motte.

The chambers between the towers had no windows or doors and must have been accessed from above, and were most likely used as a store or prison. There are references to a gaol at Eye Castle from as early as 1295, and this is likely to be the location of that gaol.

The curtain wall continued up the motte to a further tower, near the top, where it joined the keep.

The Curtain Wall survived as it was later incorporated into the foundations of a Victorian School that was built on the site. The school was demolished in 1987 and the foundations of the Curtain Wall were uncovered by archaeologists from Suffolk County Council. The remains were then consolidated for display by Mid Suffolk District Council with a grant from English Heritage.