Orford Castle - Suffolk :: Shared Description

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.
by Ashley Dace
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71 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

TM4149 : Orford Castle by Ashley Dace
TM4249 : Orford Castle - View of St. Bartholomew by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - Sink by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - Urinal by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - The Outer Defences by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - The Bakery by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Blossoming tree and Orford Castle by Hamish Griffin
TM4149 : Orford Castle - Henry the Second's Bedroom by Ashley Dace
TM4249 : Orford Castle - Cannons by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - View to Orford Ness by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - Earthworks by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - Signal Station by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - The Chapel by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle -The Main Room by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - The Priest's Room by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Trees in Orford Castle park from Orford Castle by Hamish Griffin
TM4149 : Orford Castle -The Main Staircase by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - The fireplace by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - VIP Room by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle visitor information sign by Hamish Griffin
TM4149 : Orford Castle - First floor by Ashley Dace
TM4149 : Orford Castle - The Ladies' Room by Ashley Dace

... and 46 more images.

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Created: Wed, 21 Jul 2010, Updated: Sat, 24 Jul 2010

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2010 Ashley Dace, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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