A miniature castle built by a soldier who inspired a character in William Shakespeare’s plays has been restored to its former glory.

Drayton Lodge, built by Sir John Fastolf, who inspired Shakespeare's character Sir John Falstaff, is a grade-II listed monument and one of the earliest brick structures in the region.

The 15th-century tower structure, in the grounds of the Drayton Old Lodge function venue in Drayton High Road, was saved after a grant from Historic England was awarded to it in 2021.

Work to restore it was a collaboration between Hidden Talents Homes, the developers of the site, and Historic England, who restored the lodge at a cost of £31,000.

READ MORE: Historic monument built by man who inspired Shakespeare saved from collapse

Work carried out by developers included the replacement of brickwork in decayed areas.

Existing bricks were used where possible and any new bricks were specially commissioned from a Suffolk company to match the original historic bricks.

Vulnerable sections of the structure were reconstructed with hidden stainless steel pins and straps added for additional support.

The building was originally conceived as a small, fortified manor house and was likely completed in 1437.

Eastern Daily Press: A new information board has been placed at the siteA new information board has been placed at the site (Image: Karen Smyth)

Its contemporary, Caister Castle, was also built by Sir John Fastolf but on a much larger scale.

Dr John Alban, an honorary senior lecturer in the School of History at the University of East Anglia, said: "It was small, yet significant.

"There is no doubt that its topographical location, overlooking a rival’s manor, was a visual deterrent to any possible threat from a potentially hostile neighbour."

READ MORE: What's the story behind these two remarkable medieval towers in Norwich?

Sir John fought for the three Lancastrian kings in the Hundred Years’ War in France, where he amassed a huge fortune from the profits of war.

These riches were invested in estates in England, including the manors of Hellesdon and Drayton.

The Paston family acquired the lodge after Fastolf’s death in 1459.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the site is taking place at 11am tomorrow.