near Orford, Suffolk, England
Situated in the centre of the village of Orford, the castle is 25 miles east of Ipswich in the south east of England.
Only small amounts of the curtain wall with it towers are remaining today but the Norman eighteen sided drum keep, 90 feet high, is very much intact.
Flanking the keep are three square turrets, the south east turret being used as the entrance and a fore building; half the height of the tower itself, linked together with a series of passages. Today it is regarded as one of the best preserved castles of its period.
Orford Castle is open to the public daily from10am April until September and Thursday to Sunday from October to March.
Visitors to the castle’s interior can experience the maze of passages and polygonal rooms including the basement with its well, kitchen, chapel, halls and the upper hall which houses a display of medieval coins, seals and brooches.
From the top of the castle’s turrets visitors have a view out towards the sea. Audio guides are also available.
Orford castle was built in 1165 for King Henry II, in a very unique design. After the Kings death the castle lost its importance and was captured in 1216 by Prince Louis of France.
In 1280 the castle was sold by Edward I and in 1930 Sir Arthur Churchman presented the castle’s remains to the Orford Town Trust and is now managed by English Heritage.
Other Castles in the Area
Framlingham Castle, Suffolk