Friday, 6 April 2012

F is for Framlingham Castle, Suffolk

Framlingham Castle is in the market town of the same name. 

A Norman castle was built using the early motte and bailey design being destroyed (1173/4) by Henry II.  The Earls of Norfolk rebuilt it using a curtain wall with thirteen mural square towers to defend the centre of the Castle –

12th century walls of the Inner Court

Despite this King John captured it in 1216, but by the end of the 1400s Framlingham had become a luxurious home, surrounded by extensive parkland used for hunting.

Originally Framlingham was one of a group of castles in the eastern counties held by the powerful Bigod family, Earls of Norfolk.  Subsequently the Howard family was awarded the Dukedom of Norfolk

Tudor brickwork in the
Inner Court, including a carved
brick chimney
Due to financial constraints the castle fell into disrepair with the Castle being given to Pembroke College, Cambridge, as a philanthropic gesture in 1636.  

The internal buildings were taken down to make way for the construction of a poorhouse/workhouse within the site.

Poverty was seen as a dishonourable state caused by a lack of the moral virtue of industriousness, so the workhouse provided a roof and food, in exchange for menial and/or manual labour under a reformatory or penal labour regime.   The poorhouse within the Castle was used this way for 200 years until 1839.

The Poorhouse, with the Red House
wing (L), the 18th C middle wing, and
the remains of the Great Hall (R)

After that the Castle went through various transitions until 1913 when Pembroke College donated Framlingham to the Commissioner of Works.

One of the five stone medieval
heads reset into the walls of the
Castle poorhouse

Today Framlingham Castle is a scheduled monument and a Grade 1  listed building, which is owned and run by English Heritage as a tourist attraction.

That is F for Framlingham Castle – an original Norman Castle much altered over time ... part of the ABC series Aspects of British Castles

Bob Scotney’s castle of yesterday was Eerie Ewloe Castle, north-east Wales

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Juliet said...

What marvellous castle posts you have been doing - I've just caught up with them as I didn't get the notifications for the other ones. Am intrigued by the medieval head - must be a portrait of someone no doubt, and I find myself wondering who it could be. Good luck with the A-Z challenge, that's quite something to take on.


Another great post Hilary, though I haven't been to this one I have heard of it.
Great guide , excellently written.

Have a good day.

Silver Tree said...

Hi Hilary. Many Norman castles manage to look imposing even when they're not much more than ruins. Remember one in Ayeshire, Scotland. Like to know its story.

Thanks for a great post as always.


Lynn said...

I'm so glad it's being cared for now. That poor house addition just looks all wrong there.

Old Kitty said...

What a history - from Norman castle to Cambridge Uni to poor house to fabulous castle again! Wonderful! Take care

Bob Scotney said...

WE are different again today, Hilary. Did not have Framlington on my list - it has an interesting history.

Diane said...

Enjoyed this post not only have I not seen it I have not heard of it either! Diane

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - good to see you and thanks for catching up. I'm sure you're right with the medieval head .. and sadly we will never know! I did the Challenge last year and enjoyed it -so am happy doing it this year .. it's fun ..

@ Yvonne - I'm not sure I had heard of Framlingham - so was happy to write about it .. glad you enjoyed it ..

@ Denise - Those castles were exceedingly imposing weren't they - even as ruins .. you think how did they build them ..

Your Ayrshire one .. there are a few .. if you can remember its name - Wikipedia will give you some background ..

@ Lynn - the stone heads, Tudor chimney and bastions of castle towers are probably good examples - hence the Scheduled Monument and Grade 1 listed status .. it will be preserved.

@ Old Kitty - this one does seem to have had a chequered history you're so right .. at least it's recorded for us and future generations now.

@ Bob - Exactly - amazing isn't it that so far we've done different castles and different to those mentioned by others too ...

Fotheringhay has more history I think, but is in a worse state ..

@ Diane - there are lots and lots of castles!! Glad I entertained you briefly ...

Cheers Juliet, Yvonne Denise, Lynn, Old Kitty, Bob and Diane - so good to see you and thank you for commenting - Hilary

Jo said...

I was at school near Framlingham for a year or two so I remember that castle. Interesting history. Odd having a poor house in the middle of the buildings

Martha said...

All so awesome! Have a wonderful weekend :)

Theresa Milstein said...

The outside is unusual. Has a different look than the typical castle I have in my head. The Tudor brickwork is interesting.

Inger said...

Very interesting for me who just finished watching a rerun of The Tudors on BBC America and while doing that, decided to read The Other Boleyn Girl and three more of Ms. Gregory's books about that period. This is an imposing castle to say the least and fun to try to imagine the Howard family living there.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Hilary,
What is amazing to me is the impressiveness of the buildings from that time. I never get tired of looking at pictures of them. Way back then, they didn't have a lot of technological aids, but made some wonderful structures. Your mention of work houses reminds me of the time when I was reading a lot of Dickens.

Glynis Peters said...

You have made my day! I love this castle, and my children used to love visiting it. My cousin has an antiques shop in the town, and our friend lives there. Many happy days spent here! Great post, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary. Enjoyed your post. Interesting history.

Alexandra Heep said...

Ohh, I love castles. I used to live in Germany and had no idea what I was giving up when I moved.

Wonderful post.


Karen Walker said...

These are so wonderful, Hilary. I really think I could plan a trip around them.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Another great and informative post. I'd love to have a few spare months to just go hopping from interesting site to interesting site. Sigh.

Sara said...

I think it's so cool that you have so MANY castles to write about. I loved the picture of Tudor carved chimney. It seems so wonderful that a work object like chimney would be decorated. It shows the craftsmanship of another time.

It was interesting to learn about the poorhouse/workhouse and what they did. It's too bad poverty was seen as having a lack of moral virtue of industriousness, but at least it was place where people could stay and get food -- better than the other options, I would think.

Have a great weekend, Hilary:~)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jo - you and Glynis both know the Castle well .. I guess in the 1700s they were utilising a useful place, the 'lord' got free labour, and I'm sure they used some of the ruined stone to build the Poorhouse.

@ Martha - it is amazing isn't it

@ Theresa - the original construction of the castle would have been a new variation .. as each architect/engineer wouldn't have built many .. and I guess the actual design might have had some input from the designer.

I had to put the chimney in - to show how things were built then ..

@ Inger - ah ah so you know more than I do about the Tudors - I don't think I watched it here! Excellent reading you are partaking of ..

The Howards were/are an interesting noble dynasty .. life in those times as it really happened - would be so interesting to know if we've got it right in our portrayals ..

@ JL - yes Dickens was very much into his social awareness of the times, and making it known via his instalments and subscriptions .. until they became books.

However how they constructed things - or envisioned it .. is another matter - amazing to see now.

@ Glynis - whay hay .. great to see that you know the castle and love it .. and that your family has business there - isn't that interesting .. I'd love to visit even more now ... thanks for the input here!!

@ Susanne - delighted to read ..

@ Alex - Britain and Europe have so much history - let alone further abroad .. Egypt, Persia, India and China .. still you can join me here!

@ Karen - I think I could plan a trip around .. and include some of Bob's, so I'm sure you could too ..

@ Luanna - wouldn't we all love to have that extra time in life .. it disappears all too quickly ...

@ Sara - thanks for coming by - oh yes .. lots and lots of castles! Isn't the Tudor carved chimney interesting .. and the carved heads ..

In those days being poor was a fault! I think things weren't so 'kind' .. as it was coercion .. rather than a choice ...

Fortunately people like Charles Dickens highlighted the social injustices, and other philanthropists were seeing the unfairness of life on the poor - as the middle classes became a 'class' and thus rose from the depths of poverty ...

Thanks everyone so much - so good to see you - Blessings today, and a happy Easter weekend .. Hilary

Tracy said...

It just amazes me how dedicated other countries are in up keep of their older structures. In the US, we just tear them down and build a new one...this Framlingham Castle is gorgeous!

Unknown said...

I don't know much about the poor house feature but I think in part it was a nice provision to keep workers from being abandoned.

Suze said...

Lightly enamored of the stone medieval head on the wall of the Poorhouse.

Julie Flanders said...

Love the wall of the inner court, they look gorgeous to me and it's amazing to think how long they've been standing there. I like to think we've come such a long way when reading about the Poorhouse, but then when I think of some of the political rhetoric that gets tossed around now, I think there are many who still see poverty this way. Very unfortunate that we seem to be going backwards in many ways.

Anonymous said...

That first picture is stunning. I blew it up so Jen and I could see it really well. We both REALLY like this. But of course we like all of them!

See you tomorrow, dear friend!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

Kelly Stilwell said...

Gorgeous pictures and fascinating information! So creative! Enjoyed it.

Kelly Stilwell

Monica said...

Loved this, very interesting post!!
Hope you're enjoying the challenge,
Monica, Older Mommy Still Yummy

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Tracy - they're protected by Regulation ... so need to be looked after - but then if they're a few hundred (or more) years old and have stood the test of time - our history is entwined within them, then we can get an understanding of our past.

@ Clarissa - I can see I need to do a post on Workhouses .. as I know little about them, but I think they were rather cruel institutions .. but it was a time of enlightenment by some industry owners ...

@ Suze - those carvings are beautiful in their rustic way aren't they (as we would describe them today)

@ Julie - actually I'm enjoying seeing the different building styles and stones used in the ramparts and walls.

Life is never easy for the poor and infirm, so often not their fault either ... and that divide is getting wider - I feel .. so I agree with you.

@ Ann - it's so wonderful that Jen is enjoying the pictures too .. that's great to know.

It's a good photo - with the red poorhouse in the centre of the inner court -

@ Kelly - delighted to meet you and so pleased you enjoy the post ..thank you.

@ Monica - good to meet you and that you too enjoyed the post .. I am enjoying the Challenge - I must get round a few new bloggers today!

Cheers everyone - thanks for visiting and commenting - Hilary

Susan Scheid said...

As I knew you would, you're providing an invaluable tour guide to these great castles. I love the old Norman walls. From the images, it seems one could go there and truly have the feeling of stepping back in time.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. it certainly looks like a place one could wander in and out of each room and imagine the setting way back when .. I expect the Guide would be forthcoming too ..

Good to see you - thank you for commenting - Happy Easter - Hilary

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm late, Hilary, but I'm still learning so much. Your castle posts are fascinating. I've always wondered. Did the inhabitants live long in such cold, damp counters? I'm only wonder because I'm sick with a cold and can't imagine where I caught it. I haven't been out of the house. But those beautiful old castle must have been so drafty, eh?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Joylene .. no worries - colds don't help do they! I think they were probably healthier in some ways than we are ... because we protect ourselves so much - central heating, double glazing etc.

Also they would have been active all the time - whereas we're all fairly sedentary ...

However they were exposed to much worse evils .. plague, pox etc ..

I expect they were drafty and freezing cold in the depths of winter - but that was life, so they got on with things ...we'd be unhappy though - I know I would!!

Cheers - good to see you - and hope that cold improves soon .. Hilary