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We have changed the opening arrangements of our sites to play our part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Framlingham Castle is currently closed and any tickets pre-booked for the closed period will be cancelled and refunds automatically made as needed, so there is no need to contact us. We are keeping a selection of sites open for local people to use for exercise during the lockdown period. These are a mixture of free-to-enter and paid sites, and all have plenty of outdoor space for safe social distancing. Visits to paid sites must be booked in advance. We hope to be able to reopen many more of our sites in the near future, and we are currently taking advanced bookings for early spring and beyond. If we are unable to open a site by the time of your booked visit, your ticket will be automatically refunded without you needing to contact us. Thank you for your understanding, patience and support during this difficult time.
Roger Bigod, sheriff of Norfolk, is granted the manor of Framlingham. He builds a timber fortress.
Roger's son Hugh Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk, builds the first stone castle.
Find out more about the history of Framlingham Castle
Henry II confiscates Framlingham to punish Hugh Bigod for his part in a local uprising. Later, after another rebellion against the king, the castle is dismantled.
Roger Bigod II earns back his father's title of Earl of Norfolk and rebuilds the castle with the massive stone walls that survive today. He entertains King John here in 1213.
King John successively besieges the castle during the civil war that follows Magna Carta. The new king, Henry III, restores Roger's castle to him the next year.
New owner Margaret Brotherton is made Duchess of Norfolk, the first Englishwoman to be a duchess in her own right. Henry IV's son John is educated at Framlingham.
John Howard inherits and becomes the 1st Howard Duke of Norfolk. He refurbishes Framingham and dies commanding the king's troops at Bosworth Field.
Thomas Howard regains the title of Duke of Norfolk forfeited at Bosworth, and dies aged 80 at Framlingham.
Mary Tudor inherits Framlingham from her father, and rallies her troops here to fight for the throne after Edward VI dies. As queen, she restores the estate to Thomas Howard.
Elizabeth I executes Thomas, 4th Duke of Norfolk, for his part in a plot to marry Mary, Queen of Scots. Framlingham, now back in royal hands, is neglected.
James I returns Framlingham to the Howards. Heavily in debt, Theophilus Howard sells it to rich lawyer Sir Robert Hitcham.
Under the terms of Hitcham's will, Framlingham Castle becomes a poorhouse. A new poorhouse is built in 1729.
Pembroke College, Cambridge (Hitcham's old college) gives the estate to the Ministry of Works. English Heritage takes over in 1984.
Learn more about the history of Framlingham Castle