Orford Castle


A market was in existence at the small port of Orford by 1137/8, and between 1165 and 1173 a revolutionary new castle was built there for King Henry II at a cost of £1413 9s 2d. Survey work 2002-3 showed that this was the earliest ‘curtain wall and towers’ castle in England, but only the stone keep at the centre of the castle survives.

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The castle is now an English Heritage property :

Further reading

Heslop, T.A., 'Orford Castle, nostalgia and sophisticated living', Architectural History no. 34, 1991 36-58 (reprinted in R. Liddiard (ed.) 2003, Anglo-Norman Castles, Woodbridge).

Potter, V., Poulter, M. and Allen, J., The Building of Orford Castle. A translation from the Pipe Rolls 1163-78, Orford Museum 2002.

Brown, L., 2004. Orford Castle, Orford, Suffolk. Survey Report. English Heritage Archaeological Investigation Series A1/22/2004.