Wisbech grew around the original Norman Castle, constructed by William the Conqueror, at a strategically important location at the head of the estuary created by the waters of the River Ouse (or Wyse) and the River Nene. It provided an ideal location to subdue the Fenmen and impose Norman rule, with good river communications inland to Peterborough, Cambridge and beyond.
The Castle site was subsequently developed by The Bishops of Ely and John Thurloe, Secretary of State to Oliver Cromwell.
The present Regency Villa formed the centre of a major redevelopment of the area in 1816, ensuring that the site has been continuously inhabited for nearly a thousand years.
The building is owned and operated by Cambridgeshire County Council and used as a Professional Development Centre, providing a venue for meetings and training. The Castle is an ideal location for school visits, with a range of curriculum based learning opportunities on offer to the children.
The property is licensed for Civil Weddings (see the Events section), Renewal of Wedding Vows and Naming Ceremonies. The Castle is also available to hire for private functions.
In recent years the Castle has been used as a location for television and film drama. The BBC's David Copperfield and Atlantic Films, Dean Spanley both utilised the building and the Crescent for parts of their productions.