Orford Castle was originally built in 1165 under the orders of King Henry II. An impressive fortified stone structure surrounded by a curtain wall and several defensive mounds, Orford Castle was intended to protect the kingdom from invasion, both from the coast on which it was located and from within, particularly from internal threats such as that posed by the Anglian Barons including Framlingham’s Hugh Bigod.
Whilst much of Orford Castle has since been destroyed or eroded, the polygonal five-storey tower which remains is extremely well-preserved and offers visitors a great insight into the history of this vital stronghold. Exploring Orford Castle is a fascinating experience, its labyrinth of halls and rooms having remained virtually entirely intact including the well and the chapel.
Orford Castle’s museum displays a series of local and historical artefacts dating back as far as Ancient Roman Britain and encompassing everything from medieval coins to maps and photographs up to the present day.
Orford Castle is located in Orford, approx. 20 miles east of Ipswich and 70 miles east of Cambridge. It is also located around 100 miles northeast of London. Bus route 71 stops near the site which runs from Woodbridge railway station.
There is parking at Orford Castle, but not for coaches. There are no on-site toilets – toilets available in the village. Access to the site is by way of a steep incline and, inside Orford Castle, there is a spiral staircase. Audio guides are available, including guides with a hearing loop and Braille guides to the museum panels.
Orford Castle is open 10am-5pm daily (to 6pm Jul-Aug and 4pm Nov-Mar). Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays Nov-Mar. Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan. Entry costs £5.60 for adults, £3.40 for children and £5 reduced. Family tickets cost £14.60 and entry free for English Heritage members.
Castle Hill, Orford, Suffolk, IP12 2ND UK
+44 (0)1394 450472
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