Suffolk has a rich history which spans across hundreds of years. Over that time a number of significant buildings, places and sights have left their mark such as the twelfth century castle, historic farm park and unique high street. A key filming location for the BBC4 series Detectorists, there’s much to learn about Framlingham once you’ve scratched the surface.
Saxtead Green Post Mill
Built in the late thirteenth century, Saxtead Green Post Mill is a corn mill – the body of which revolves on its base. The current mill dates back to 1796 and has been raised a total of three times since. Local millwrights from villages such as Wickham Market and Melton contributed to the maintenance of the mill over years. In 1984 the mill passed into the care of English Heritage which continues to care for the mill. Despite the fact milling at Saxtead Green ceased back in 19467 although the mill is still in working order today. You can visit the mill and climb up the three floors which are teeming with fascinating machinery. Please check to see the opening hours of the mill before paying a visit to this historic site.
Easton Farm Park
During the late nineteenth century, a popular trend developed for Victorian landowners to build model farms. On the Easton Estate, model buildings were constructed – beautiful and ornate although not entirely practical for farming needs, especially as the industry began to modernise quite quickly. After becoming redundant in the 1970s, the idea was born to turn the buildings into an educational farm, and thus Easton Farm Park made its mark on the Suffolk countryside. Today you can visit the farm and get up close and personal with the animals, as well as learn all about the history of farming from the Victorian era and through more recent times. See the iconic Suffolk Punches as well, a rare breed, and admire the original Victorian buildings as well, 130 years after their construction.
An early motte and bailey castle, Framlingham Castle was built in 1148, however it was destroyed less than thirty years later by Henry II in the aftermath of a revolt. The castle which replaced it was unique in its design, having no central keep but a curtain wall which included defensive thirteen towers. Earl of Norfolk Roger Bigod constructed this second castle, however despite his strategic intent, the castle was taken by King John in 1216 after a brief siege. By the end of the century, Framlingham Castle had become a luxurious home and had cultivated extensive parkland which was used for hunting. In later centuries two meres were constructed, however by the end of the sixteenth century the castle has fallen into disrepair. In 1984 Framlingham Castle was given to English Heritage – coincidentally, the same year as Saxtead Green Post Mill. Today the castle is alive with activity as events are hosted throughout the year to help encourage people to discover the history of Framlingham and its castle.