East of England News

Framlingham Castle transforms: A Destination for Groups

English Heritage has unveiled the results of a £1.2 million visitor improvement and conservation project at Framlingham Castle, where Mary Tudor was proclaimed Queen of England in 1553.

A new 40-seat café and retail space have been added to the rare 17th-century Workhouse which stands within the castle walls and an original mezzanine level has been reinstated to house a new exhibition which tells the stories of the historic property and its former residents. The transformation now makes the Suffolk castle a versatile all-weather destination for group days out.

Detailed planning has gone into Framlingham Castle’s new facilities, with many features of the new shop and café designed to reflect the castle and its 900-year history. Highlights of the new exhibition include an introductory film and a walkthrough of the castle’s varied owners, from the famous Howard family to Mary Tudor. A lift from the ground floor makes the exhibition accessible to all.

Conservation work to the curtain walls using a mixture of heritage skills such as lime slaking, repointing and stone carving has also been completed as part of the project. English Heritage now plans to fundraise for a second phase of work to create a 360˚ wall walk with a lift providing easy access to a newly-built balcony area, for everyone to enjoy the spectacular views across the mere.

Framlingham Castle is open daily until the end of October and at weekends until 29 March 2018 (daily from 27 to 31 December and 12 to 16 February 2018; closed 24 – 26 December and 1 January). Pre-booked coach parking is available. For more information or to pre-book group visits go to www.english-heritage.org.uk/framlingham, call 01728 724922 or email framlingham.castle@english-heritage.org.uk.

Groups of 11 or more people receive a 15% discount at English Heritage properties and events (10% at Stonehenge). One tour leader and one coach driver are admitted free with each group (and do not count towards group numbers). Free familiarisation visits can be arranged for the Travel Trade. To discuss opportunities for group visits, to subscribe to the free Travel Trade newsletter Attractions, or to order a complimentary copy of the Group Visits Guide, call 0117 975 1349 or email traveltrade@english-heritage.org.uk