Here are some facts about Orford Castle.
- Orford Castle is located near the village of the same name in Suffolk. The 12th century castle is about 20 km from Ipswich, and about 120 km from London.
- The central tower of Orford Castle is 27 metres high, and has 3 taller turrets attached to it.
- Some of the rooms were draught proofed and designed to catch the morning sun.
- Orford Castle has been described as having one of England’s most remarkable keeps. The keep, or tower, was built to precise proportions similar to those found in many Medieval churches.
- The castle was built by Henry II between 1165 and 1173 to help maintain Royal control over that part of the country and to repel invaders.
- The castle had several owners between the 14th and 18th centuries. It was almost demolished in 1805, and was only saved as it made a useful landmark for ships to navigate by.
- During World War 2, the castle was used to house radar equipment. After the war, it was given to the Ministry of Works and eventually to English Heritage.
- There is a small museum in the castle, which displays artifacts found in the area. On display are coins, Medieval seals and jewellery dating back to Roman times.
- From the walls of Orford Castle, there are spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.
- The legend of the ‘Wild Man of Orford’ is associated with the castle. In 1167, a wild hairy man was found in the sea and believed to be a male mermaid (or merman).
- Apparently, the man was kept in the castle for several months. After he escaped, the local people carved pictures of wild men into the fonts in some of the local churches.
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