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Framlingham Castle, Framlingham

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Castle · Tourist Spot
Framlingham Castle is a castle in the market town of Framlingham in Suffolk in England. An early motte and bailey or ringwork Norman castle was built on the Framlingham site by 1148, but this was destroyed (slighted) by Henry II of England in the aftermath of the Revolt of 1173–1174. Its replacement, constructed by Roger Bigod, the Earl of Norfolk, was unusual for the time in having no central keep, but instead using a curtain wall with thirteen mural towers to defend the centre of the castle. Despite this, the castle was successfully 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.

During the 15th and 16th centuries Framlingham was at the heart of the estates of the powerful Mowbray and Howard families. Two artificial meres were built around the castle, which was expanded in fashionable brick. With a large, wealthy household to maintain, the castle purchased supplies from across England and brought in luxury goods from international markets. Extensive pleasure gardens were built within the castle and older parts redesigned to allow visitors to enjoy the resulting views. By the end of the 16th century, however, the castle fell into disrepair and after the final Howard owner, Theophilus, entered into financial difficulties the castle and the surrounding estates were sold off.

In 1636, Framlingham Castle was given to Pembroke College, Cambridge, as a philanthropic gesture, and remained in its ownership for some three hundred years. In the 17th century, the internal buildings were taken down to make way for the construction of a poor law workhouse within the castle; it was used in this way until 1839, when the facility was closed; the castle was then used as a drill hall and as a county court. In 1913, Pembroke College placed Framlingham into the guardianship of the Commissioner of Works. During the Second World War, Framlingham Castle was used by the British Army as part of the regional defences against a potential German invasion. Today, the Castle is managed by English Heritage and run as a tourist attraction. It is protected under British law as a Grade I listed building and as a scheduled monument.

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Framlingham Castle reviews

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1,047 reviews
  • This is a really pleasant castle to spend a few hours. The views from the high walk way are stunning, All the staff are extremely friendly, and the cafe offered a really good range of food that was...  more »
  • Lovely place to visit for the day the castle was great lots of historical buildings Plenty of very helpful staff dog friendly and highly recommended for a day trip out .There’s a small town near by...  more »
  • Nice destination for a visit. The entry is 10 pound for an adult. There is a cafe inside with reasonable prices and places to sit. Most of the things to see are outside. You have to make sure to ask for the audio guide. For the kids too as there are fun stories to hear. There is lots of interesting additional information which makes it much more interesting. The area is big and can be explored with the kids or invited you for a stroll.
  • Lovely castle and museum. Good cafeteria will nice selection. Large safe play area on enclosed green inside castle walls with good entertainment. Great views of lake and surroundings from top of castle wall. One down point is having to pay car park fees as well as entrance fees. Otherwise great place.
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