Coordinates: 52°13′19″N 1°20′36″E / 52.22207°N 1.34342°E / 52.22207; 1.34342
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Framlingham Castle
Framlingham is located in Suffolk
Location within Suffolk
Area18.97 km2 (7.32 sq mi)
Population3,342 (2011)
• Density176/km2 (460/sq mi)
OS grid referenceTM283634
Civil parish
  • Framlingham
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtIP13
Dialling code01728
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°13′19″N 1°20′36″E / 52.22207°N 1.34342°E / 52.22207; 1.34342

Framlingham is a market town and civil parish in Suffolk, England. Of Anglo-Saxon origin, it appears in the 1086 Domesday Book. The parish had a population of 3,342 at the 2011 census and an estimated 4,016 in 2019.[1][2] Nearby villages include Earl Soham, Kettleburgh, Parham, Saxtead and Sweffling.


An electoral ward of the same name exists. The parish stretches north-east to Brundish with a total ward population taken at the 2011 census of 4,744.[3]


Framlingham's history can be traced to an entry in the Domesday Book (1086) when it consisted of several manors.

The medieval Framlingham Castle is a major feature and tourist attraction for the area and is managed by English Heritage. This Norman castle was first referenced in 1148, although some academics believe it could be as old as the 11th century. Mary Tudor (daughter of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon) was proclaimed the first Queen of England here in 1553. The castle is referenced in the 2017 single "Castle on the Hill" by Ed Sheeran, who grew up in Framlingham. Adjacent to the castle is a large lake, or mere, which used to supply the castle with fish. It is managed by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. A nature walk in woodland can be made around the mere. There is also a large meadow adjacent to the castle that holds various outdoor events and productions in the summer and where people can picnic.

The Church of St Michael the Archangel is a prominent feature of the town. It dates from the 12th century (the main rebuilding dates from the late 15th and 16th centuries) and has a ring of eight bells dating from the 15th to 20th centuries. It also contains a very rare Thamar organ and a number of tombs of nobles. The church and other parts of the town feature as locations in the Anthony Horowitz novel Magpie Murders.

Framlingham has a football team, located in Badingham Road. The town has the two oldest-functioning Post Office pillar boxes in the UK, dating from 1856, located on Double Street and on College Road.[4] The pillar boxes are marked V. R. Victoria Regina, after Queen Victoria.

Framlingham is also home to one of the smallest houses in Britain, the "Check House". Converted into a two-storey residence of under 29 square metres (310 sq ft), the former bookmaker's office[5] is in the Mauldens Mill Estate in the town centre. The ground floor measures 20 feet (6.1 m) by 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 m).[5]

There is a traditional English market in the town square, Market Hill, every Tuesday and Saturday mornings offering fruit and vegetables, artisan bread and cakes, fresh fish, coffee, cheese and pies, and other occasional stalls. A small museum is located within the castle.

Framlingham is surrounded by agricultural land. It lies some 14 miles (23 km) from the coastal town of Aldeburgh and 20 miles (32 km) from Southwold. It is also 10 miles (16 km) from the renowned music centre of Snape Maltings and 12 miles (19 km) from Woodbridge and the world-famous Anglo-Saxon burial site at Sutton Hoo. It is approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from the A12, one of the main arteries into and out of Suffolk and approximately 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Ipswich.

In 2006, Country Life magazine voted Framlingham the best place to live in the country.[6]

Framlingham is a free trade town and has a conservation area. An oak tree planted in 1911 in honour of the Coronation of King George V survives outside the old railway station, now a pub named The Station on Station Road. The town was the main location for the BBC television comedy series Detectorists. It has also appeared in numerous other TV programmes.

A famous family-orientated sausage festival is held in October. This event has butchers from Framlingham and the surrounding villages competing for the trophy of best sausage in the area. The town is closed to traffic on the day and people follow a map around the town sampling the different flavoured sausages and voting for their favourite. There are also market stalls and entertainment held on Market Hill on the day. Other festivals and events are held in the town and around the castle throughout the year.


Framlingham College is an independent, co-educational secondary school for boarders and day students, opened as Albert Memorial College in 1865 in memory of Albert, Prince Consort. Its associated preparatory school is at Brandeston Hall.[7]

Thomas Mills High School, dating from 1751, is considerably older than Framlingham College. It is a mixed secondary state school for pupils aged 11–18, which gained academy status in 2011.[8] The singer Ed Sheeran attended this school.

Framlingham's primary school is Sir Robert Hitcham's Church of England Voluntary Primary School, dating back to at least 1654. It now has circa 350 pupils and another 26 in its nursery.[9]


The Framlingham Branch connected Framlingham by rail with the main Ipswich to Lowestoft East Suffolk line at Wickham Market. The railway station building stands adjacent to the Station Hotel. The branch closed to passenger traffic in November 1952 and to goods in April 1965. The nearest stations today are Wickham Market (7 miles (11 km)) at Campsea Ashe and Saxmundham (8 miles (13 km)), both on the East Suffolk Line.

The town is at the junction of the B1116, B1119 and B1120 roads, 4 miles (6.4 km) west of the A12. The local bus services are detailed on the Suffolk on Board site.[10]

Sport and leisure[edit]

Framlingham has a non-League football club, Framlingham Town F.C., which plays at Badingham Road, where there is also a sports club offering tennis, archery, badminton, hockey and croquet, and where the cycling club meets. The town has a rambling club and an active Scout and Cubs group. The modern St John Ambulance Centre is in Fairfield Road.

Framlingham College, an independent school, has a swimming pool and gymnasium open to the public in pre-booked slots. Membership fees are required.

There are four pubs in the town: The Castle Inn (which was portrayed as the "Two Brewers" in the Detectorists TV series), The Railway, The Station and The Crown (which is also a restaurant and hotel). There is a library, a post office, a pharmacy, a small supermarket and a selection of specialised shops and coffee shops.

The town attracts a number of tourists, particularly in the summer months, drawn to the town itself, the castle, St Michael's Church, the locations for the Detectorists TV series, and walks that are available in and around the town and in the local countryside.

Notable people[edit]

In order of birth:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ City Population site. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Ward population 2011". Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  4. ^ "A short introduction to the history of the British Pillar Box". Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  5. ^ a b S. Howes, 2011 Tiny UK house with a giant price-tag, Sydney Morning Herald 16 March 2011. Retrieved 28 March 2011
  6. ^ "Fram named nation's best place to live". East Anglian Daily Times. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  7. ^ EduBase2 Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  8. ^ School site Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  9. ^ School site: Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  10. ^ Suffolk on Board. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  11. ^ Vega, Jose L. (11 May 2017). "Edmund Goodwyn and the first description of diving bradycardia". Journal of Applied Physiology. 123 (2): 275–277. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00221.2017. ISSN 8750-7587. PMID 28495845.
  12. ^ East Anglia's History... Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  13. ^ What's the link between these girls and a hardly-known Suffolk 'hero' honoured by China?, East Anglian Daily Times, 14 December 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2020.

External links[edit]