Orford, Suffolk

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2008-05-17 GreatBritain OrfordCastle.jpg
Orford Castle
Orford is located in Suffolk
Location within Suffolk
Population713 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceTM422499
Civil parish
  • Orford
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtIP12
Dialling code01394
AmbulanceEast of England
UK Parliament
List of places
52°05′42″N 1°32′02″E / 52.095°N 1.534°E / 52.095; 1.534Coordinates: 52°05′42″N 1°32′02″E / 52.095°N 1.534°E / 52.095; 1.534

Orford is a village with historic town status in Suffolk, England, within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB. It is located 9 miles (14 km) east of Woodbridge.[2]


Orford is the centre-left settlement depicted in this 1588 map

Like many Suffolk coastal towns it was of some importance as a port and fishing village in the Middle Ages. It has a mediaeval castle, built to dominate the River Ore and a Grade I listed parish church, St Bartholomew's. The castle was built as a royal castle built by Henry II in the period 1165-1173 as an assertion of monarchical power in the region. Although the castle became less important after the king's death in 1189, the importance of Orford as a port grew. By 1200 its level of trade exceeded that of nearby Ipswich.[3] Henry III granted Orford its first charter and the town returned a member of parliament in 1298, although it did not function as a constituency throughout the 14th century.

Local amenities[edit]

The population of Orford greatly increases during the summer months, partly due to its flourishing sailing club. In common with other Suffolk coastal towns and villages, a substantial number of properties in Orford are holiday or second homes.[4]

As well as the Castle, Orford's attractions include river cruises, three pubs, a renowned traditional bakery, a smokehouse and a restaurant; the Butley-Orford Oysterage.

Orford was rated as among the "20 most beautiful villages in the UK and Ireland" by Condé Nast Traveler in 2020 and its castle as "worthy of a storybook".[5]


Historically Orford was an ancient borough institutionalised as Orford Corporation. Considered a rotten borough, this status was revoked by the [[]]. Orford forms part of the electoral ward called Orford and Tunstall. The population of this ward at the 2011 census was 1,830.[6]

Notable people[edit]


Orford Ness, Suffolk, showing locations of main sites.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  2. ^ AA Book of British Villages. Drive Publications Limited. 1980. p. 306. ISBN 9780340254875.
  3. ^ "A visitor Guide to Orford in Suffolk". Bed and Breakfast Nationwide. Bed and Breakfast Nationwide. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  4. ^ [1] East Anglian Daily Times 12 March 2016 "Revealed: The Suffolk communities dominated by second homes"
  5. ^ "THE 20 MOST BEAUTIFUL VILLAGES IN THE UK AND IRELAND, 20 October 2020". Retrieved 14 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Orford and Tunstall Ward population 2011". Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Orfordness Visitor Map" (PDF). National Trust. 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2018.

External links[edit]