Framlington Castle is situated in the market town of Framlington, Suffolk, and it is a magnificent 12th century fortress with a long and colourful past. It was destroyed by Henry II in the aftermath of the revolt of 1173-4. It was replaced by Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk. The new castle was unusual in the fact it had no central keep but it did have 13 towers to defend the centre of the castle. Despite this, the castle was taken by King John in 1216 after a short siege. By the end of the 13th century, Framlingham had become a luxurious home, surrounded by extensive parkland used for hunting. The castle was once the refuge of Mary Tudor before she became Queen in 1553 and visitors can now explore over 800 years of life at Framlingham Castle in the ‘From Powerhouse to Poorhouse’ exhibition. In 1636 the Castle was given to Pembroke College, after which the internal buildings were taken down to make way for the construction of a poorhouse. It continued to be used in this way until 1839 when the facility was closed. The castle was then used as a drill hall and County Court. During the Second World War, Framlington Castle was used by the British Military as part of regional defences against a potential German invasion. Today, Framlingham Castle is a scheduled monument and a grade I listed building, owned by English Heritage and run as a tourist attraction.
FACILITIES AT FRAMLINGHAM CASTLE
Car park is 300m from the entrance of the castle. Room 30 cars on gravel. Free (initial parking charge which is refundable to English Heritage members and visitors on admission). Overflow car park on the opposite side of road.
Kiosk open throughout the summer serving hot and cold drinks, and light snacks made from locally sourced ingredients. Many places to eat in nearby Framlingham town.
You are welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy in the grounds. There are picnic tables near the kiosk.
Range of English Heritage gifts including selection of medieval themed souvenirs.
1 male; 1 female and 1 disabled toilet at the car park.
Dogs on leads permitted in the grounds. Assistance dogs welcome throughout site.
Entry includes access to the Lanman Trust’s Museum of local history.
Exhibition in the Poorhouse, which tells the story of the people who lived in the castle during its long and varied history.
The displays illustrate the struggle for power between monarchs and the lords of Framlingham; the tragic stories of family members Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard (both married to, and beheaded by, Henry VIII); the accession of Queen Mary Tudor; and the Poorhouse which was still in use until 1839.
The Poorhouse Kitchen provides an area where visitors can enjoy a selection of factual and fictional books relating to Framlingham Castle.
Visitors can explore the Mere, the castle’s outer courts and the wall-walk with its spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.
Lots of space for children to run and play: kites allowed.
Photo : Framlington Castle, Suffolk. Author-Squeezyboy
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