3 March 2016


Orford Castle is magnificent. It was built by Henry II in the late twelfth century, and for 150 years was an important symbol of royal power on the coast, which included Henry II’s conflicts with his sons.  However, in the fourteenth century it was sold off, and the new owner demolished the outside walls, leaving the central castle intact to help ships find their location.  From the twelfth century onwards Orford was a significant port for the wool trade and fishing; it declined from the sixteenth century, partly due to the wars over the North Sea in the Netherlands  – the wars that also destroyed the commercial dominance of Antwerp.