Mystery of the Missing Castles

England's missing castles hint at two well-kept secrets. Sat 19 March 2022

Bodiam Castle. Cattle-pen for sentient livestock. Source: Bodiam

The Romans built castles where they feared the Anglo-Saxons might invade:

As long as the Saxons didn't go around them. Source: Is The Anglo-Saxon Invasion Of England A Myth?

We're told the Romans were specially careful to fortify England's east coast rivers, such as Norfolk's estuaries. Now called the Norfolk Broads:

Norfolk's Roman forts. Source


From History of Lincolnshire:

Given the size of Lincolnshire, historians note the relative lack of castles

What invasion threat did the Normans face?

After the Romans, England's (alleged) invasion sequence goes like this:

Viking-Danish invasions favoured eastern England's coastal rivers, especially the Humber. Until stopped by:

  • the Normans in 1066 AD

The Danes invaded and re-invaded England right up until the Normans invaded. So why didn't the Normans build forts near battle-tested Viking invasion routes like the Humber?

Mind the gap William. You'll let the Danes back in. Source: Historic UK

Because in 1066 those routes were - at their driest - swamp:

UK Viking settlement in AD 878. Source: The Battle of Edington

  • Look at the southern Fens. One of the little red islands was the port of Ely.
  • At the southern edge of the Fens was a port called Waterbeach a few miles north of Cambridge.
  • North of the Fens, an estuary reached up past the Lincolnshire ports of Swineshead, Garwick (now East Heckington) and Horncastle. As far as tidal Lincoln.
  • The Welland estuary reached inland west of the Fens to the port of Stamford.

Not just the Fens. Note the brown patches around Ripon and York, between Richborough and east Kent, at Romney in southern Kent, and at the Somerset Levels on the southern side of the Bristol Channel...

Those brown patches were sea.

How do we know they were sea?

The labels on the next map help us investigate.

Brown indicates sea or swamp in around 1,000 AD. Source: Carhampton

In the above map, just under the word 'SUSSEX' near the south eastern corner of England, the Rother estuary ran inland past Bodiam castle to the small Sussex village of Robertsbridge. It also ran further north to Oxney and Small Hythe in Kent.

Where's the sea gone? Source:

From Tenterden in Kent: Town Guide:

It is difficult to believe today that Tenterden had access to the sea at Smallhythe, since the coastline has altered so much. Using the wood from the Wealden Forest as its source of timber, Smallhythe was a centre for shipbuilding and produced wooden ships that were large for the time.

Time Team also investigated how medieval England's second biggest medieval freight ship - the 1,000 ton 'Jesus' - could have been built at Small Hythe, Kent:

The Rother estuary. It just sort of 'silted up'. Source: Time Team: Small Hythe

How many locks are there on the Rother?


So why doesn't the sea still flood it?

Because sea levels have fallen.

But you're supposed to say: "the coastline has altered".

The Great Storm of 1287 (St Lucia's floods) destroyed the inland ports of England's south coast. And completed the flooding of Holland's Zuider Zee:

Zuider Zee around 1658. Source

So, according to mainstream historians, England's brown areas just sort of silted up. Except in Holland, where they became the Zuider Zee.

Admitting these areas were tidal ports would prompt waking minds to wonder where that much silt came from. And why it started moving downhill into former estuaries. So orthodox history is only very slowly admitting those brown 'swamps' were sea.

That's the first mystery solved: the Normans did build castles on England's eastern coasts. The defences don't show up today because in many places 900 years ago, the sea reached much further inland.

Moving on to a second mystery, if the Danes were the primary east coast threat, why did the Normans build so many castles inland and near England's western borders? Did the sea come in that far? Were the Welsh so powerful? Did they fear Irish invaders? Inuit invaders? The native Americans?

Trade in goods, you say? Source: Is The Anglo-Saxon Invasion Of England A Myth?

Which goods?

The usual answer is:

Grains. Source

But farmers store grain in cheap, maintainable covered silos. For weather-protection and vermin control. Not in complex structures like castles.

Let's consider a different harvest. Let's turn to Norfolk again. In the early 17th century, Heacham's John Rolfe emigrated to the US and found work managing sales in the early days of Britain's African-American slave trade.

From Heacham, Norfolk, England:

In about 1619 John Rolfe, a native of this village, wrote from Jamestown, Virginia, to Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the Virginia Company of London, with the first record of African slaves arriving in North America.

He (it's not clear who 'he' is but it seems to be Rolfe) brought not any thing but 20 and odd Negroes, which the Governor and Cape Marchant bought for victualls...

'Victualls' means 'food provisions':

"How a slave was killed and eaten." Plate 16 from America, Vol. III, 1592, Frankfurt. Source: Black Legend Cannibalism

Apparently, Rolfe was selling newly-delivered Africans as food to customers like the Governor of Virginia - presumably Francis Wyatt - on behalf of the Virginia Company of London.

Specifically, 'victualls' meant salted and dried meat suitable for ships' provisions.

If this is news to you; it's not news to native Americans:

"It was used as a food supply going back and forth across the Atlantic." Source: Ivan Zlax

Video transcript:

Speaker 1: So, the church doctrine about eating any... meat on Friday... It was putting in to make sure that the people through generational would stop eating human steak. Or stop practising cannibalism.

Speaker 1: So you're talking about the people that were attacked that were cannibals? That's what they were.

Speaker 2: So cannibalism was going on before [cough] Columbus?

Speaker 1: Well yeah. Columbus. Er... He, er... It took ten years to kill all the Indians in the Caribbean.

Speaker 2: Cause they say that's when they say cannibalism first...

Speaker 1: No. That's way off... That's... All... It took ten years to kill every Indian in the Carribbean. You know they had Indians in the Carribbean?

Speaker 1: It took ten years because it was used as a food supply going back and forth across the Atlantic. And that's recorded documentation on this matter.

Other aspects of castles don't make sense:

  • The military stupidity of locking yourself in an easily identifiable place with a finite supply of water, food and ammo is one.
  • The association of castles with blood-sucking vampires - from Whitby to Transylvania - is another.

So perhaps Andrew is right. Their locations and structures make more sense when interpreted as livestock-holding pens.

Locations discussed in this evidence collection


  • Blue markers: former ports
  • Yellow markers: Other locations mentioned

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