TM4149 : Orford Castle

taken 3 years ago, near to Orford, Suffolk, Great Britain

This is 1 of 36 images, with title Orford Castle in this square
Orford Castle
Orford Castle
Orford Castle is a castle in the village of Orford, Suffolk, England, located 12 miles (20km) northeast of Ipswich, with views over Orford Ness and Orford Island. It was ordered by Henry II, King of England.
Construction work at Orford Castle began in 1165 according to plans still held at the Public Records Office in London. The marshes nearby were drained turning the village of Orford into a sheltered and successful port. The castle cost 1413 to build, a huge sum considering the royal revenue of 10,000 a year. The design of the castle was unique. The 90-foot (27 m) high central tower was circular in cross-section with three rectangular towers built into the structure. This was surrounded by a curtain wall with flanking towers and a fortified gatehouse. These outerworks were quarried for building material in the post-mediaeval period (the last section collapsing in 1841).

In 1173-4, Henry the Young King (Henry's son) rebelled over control of lands allotted to him (his father was still in power at this time). The 1st Earl of Norfolk Hugh Bigod (with castles at Bungay TM3389 : Bungay Keep and Framlingham TM2863 : Framlingham Castle) supported the rebellion leading to Orford Castle becoming heavily garrisoned. Flemish mercenaries where hired, they took several castles including Haugley and Norwich. Orford was not attacked as it had just been completed. Upon the collapse of the rebellion, Henry ordered the confiscation of Framlingham and Bungay. Demolition was started, however Hugh paid a massive fine and he kept his lands, title and castle.
Later Hugh Bigod would die during the Crusades, fighting for his King.

Orford Castle was not as important after Henry's death in 1189. The castle was captured by Prince Louis of France who invaded England in 1216 at the invitation of the English barons who were disillusioned by King John.

In 1280 under the rule of Edward I Orford Castle was granted out and eventually sold. This marked the beginning of the end of Orford Castle, as the estuary of the River Alde silted up and trade declined, reducing the importance of the castle as the centre of local government.

In 1930, Sir Arthur Churchman presented the remains of the castle to the Orford Town Trust and it passed to the guardianship of the British government in 1962.
The Castle is one of the best preserved royal keeps in England and is run by English Heritage.

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TM4149, 186 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 28 June, 2018   (more nearby)
Sunday, 29 September, 2019
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Housing, Dwellings 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TM 419 498 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:5.6605N 1:31.8147E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TM 415 494
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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Other Tags
Castle  House 

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Image Type (about): geograph 
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