Framlingham is a magnificent late 12th-century castle. Surrounded by parkland and estates, it was once at the centre of a vast network of power and influence.
The castle was built by the Bigods, a powerful Norman family in the 12th century. In the 14th century Framlingham passed to the Brotherton family. For some 17 years it was in the hands of Margaret, the daughter of Thomas Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfolk. Margaret, who was known to have enjoyed a lavish lifestyle at the castle, was a powerful woman of the period and the first to be made a duchess in her own right.
Later the castle came into the hands of Mary Tudor, who was at Framlingham when she received the news in 1552 that she had been proclaimed queen.
In 1635 the castle was sold to a rich lawyer and philanthropist, Sir Robert Hitcham. At his death a year later, he left instructions for the castle buildings to be demolished and a workhouse built.