Framlingham Castle

This year, we decided that we wanted to  explore as much of England as we possibly could  (especially if the weather was sunny and bright, or even if just drizzling!) and since hubby and I are both amateur history buffs, we decided to go for an annual  membership of English Heritage…. and if you`d like more information, access their site here.

We found this an excellent way to delve into bygone times and learn about this fantastic land and very often, there are family activities, so if you have little ones and furry friends, you could take them along and they will not get bored…and as a bonus you can take a picnic and feast in the same place as royalty did in the past!

Framlingham Castle is situated in Suffolk, once a grand symbol of the imposing power of the Dukes of Norfolk. Originally built by Roger Bigod, a Norman and Earl of Norfolk in the 12th century and remained in the hands of the earls and dukes of Norfolk for around 400 years.

Queen Mary Tudor, the Catholic Queen, first female to ascend the English throne and also first daughter of Henry VIII, and sister of Queen Elizabeth I, also owned the castle for a short period and resided at Framlingham Castle; indeed, it was here that she discovered she had become England`s first female queen.

Framlingham Castle: Across the Mere

Framlingham Castle: Across the Mere

This castle, though mostly a ruin, still retains it`s majestic appearance.

The gatehouse is situated on the side of the ticket office  and this leads to essentially a large open space which nowadays, only houses the poorhouse.


The Gatehouse

The castle was sold in 1635, by Theophilus Howard, descendant of the Howard family who was heavily indebted, to Sir Robert Hitcham. Sir Robert was a rich and successful lawyer and politician, who although visibly very prosperous and purchased the castle for the hefty sum of  £14, 000, a considerable sum at the time, was known to have had humble origins.

He left  this property to Pembroke College in Cambridge with express orders to build a poorhouse. This poorhouse still stands within the castle walls, surrounded by the imposing 13 towers.


The Poorhouse

Castle Walls- View from one of the towers in the castle

The castle is surrounded by a park, used as fertile  deer hunting grounds during it`s years of glory. Often, in these grounds, one would find poachers (including priests!) who could face hefty fines and even imprisonment.

Close-up of the imposing Framlingham Castle facade

Close-up of the imposing Framlingham Castle facade

Finally, if you liked this post, watch out for more….we`ve visited several other places recently and I will be bringing you news and photos of these incredible places, in the next few posts! Have a great week everyone!