I love Emma de Gauder’s story. Partly because she was so young, just 16 when she held our castle against William the Conqueror. Partly because it involves skulduggery - she used the cover of her wedding reception to plot the uprising with her new husband. And partly because the Castle is my very favourite building in Norwich and OF COURSE it needed a plaque.
Emma was forbidden to marry Ralph de Guader by the new French king, and, as a consequence, they were amongst a number of nobles who decided to overthrow the rulers in the Revolt of the Earls. Ralph headed off to raise an army in Denmark while Emma held the castle against the siege of William’s men. Ralph and the necessary reinforcements never arrived. So, after three months, Emma negotiated safe passage from the castle, not just for her but everyone who was besieged with her. She eventually died aged 46 on the road to Palestine in the first crusade. She definitely needed to be included in our guerrilla plaques