2009 Castles of England Framlingham Castle

ramlingham Castle is located in Framlingham in Suffolk. Its main walls are made of flint and there is no central stronghold, only a strong curtain wall and towers for defence. It was said to have been founded by Raedwald, King of the East Engles between AD599 and 624. Edmund, Saxon Monarch of East Anglia fled to the castle after an invasion by the Danes. He was subsequently driven from there and put to death by being tied to a tree and shot with arrows in AD870. The Danes kept control of the castle over the next 50 years until the Saxons came to power when William Conqueror and his son Rufus took possession of it. However, the third son of William, Henry I, gave it along with the Manor to Roger Bigod, 1st Earl of Norfolk. It then became the seat of the Earls of Norfolk until Roger Bigod, the then 5th Earl of Norfolk died and with nobody to pass it on to, it was given to Edward I.

Edward II then passed it on to his half-brother, Thomas Plantagenet after which it descended to Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk. From the Mowbrays it then went over to the Howards, Dukes of Norfolk, once Sir Robert Howard married Margaret, the daughter of Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk. John Howard, Sir Robert’s son became Earl Marshal and The Duke of Norfolk on 28th June 1843. After his death when he was killed in battle at Bosworth field in 1485, his son Thomas took over the castle but Henry VII gained possession of it and passed it to John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford who then returned it to the Howards.

Edward V, seized the castle from Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, then following Edward’s death it was granted to Princess, later, Queen Mary, by his successor, Edward VI. After his death, Jane Grey took the throne briefly until Mary, who had found refuge in Framlingham, fortunes much improved, was crowned in London.

James I then granted it to Thomas Howard, 1st Baron Howard de Walden, the youngest son of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, created Earl of Suffolk in 1603. With Audley End however becoming his main seat the castle fell into decay and Theophilus Howard, his second son, 2nd Earl of Suffolk sold it and its domains in 1635 to Sir Robert Hitcham, Senior Sergeant to James I. In his will, dated 10th August 1636, it was bequeathed to the masters and scholars of Pembroke College, Cambridge.

The government looked after it from 1913 and it is now managed by English Heritage.

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