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Framlingham Castle Sunset.jpg
Framlingham Castle
Framlingham is located in Suffolk
Area 18.97 km2 (7.32 sq mi)
Population 3,342 (2011)
• Density 176/km2 (460/sq mi)
OS grid reference TM283634
Civil parish
  • Framlingham
  • East Suffolk
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district IP13
Dialling code 01728
Police Suffolk
Fire Suffolk
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament
  • Central Suffolk and North Ipswich
List of places
52°13′19″N 1°20′36″E / 52.22207°N 1.34342°E / 52.22207; 1.34342

Framlingham is a market town and civil parish in Suffolk, England. Of Anglo-Saxon origin, it appears in the 1086 Domesday Book. The parish had a population of 3,342 at the 2011 Census and an estimated 4,016 in 2019. Nearby villages include Earl Soham, Kettleburgh, Parham, Saxtead and Sweffling.


Framlingham has a conservation area. The medieval Framlingham Castle is a major feature. The town is home to Framlingham Castle, the comprehensive secondary school Thomas Mills High School, the independent school Framlingham College, St Michael the Archangel church and Framlingham Town football club (see below). It is also home to the two oldest working post office pillar boxes in the United Kingdom which date from 1856 and can be seen at Double Street and College Road.

It is also home to one of the smallest houses in Britain, known as the "Check House". Converted into a two-storey residence of almost 29 square metres, the former bookmakers office is in the Mauldens Mill Estate in the town centre. The ground floor measures 6.1m x 2.2m.

In 2006, Country Life magazine voted Framlingham the number one place to live in the country.


The Framlingham Branch connected Framlingham by rail with the main Ipswich to Lowestoft East Suffolk line at Wickham Market. The railway station building stands adjacent to the Station Hotel. The branch closed to passenger traffic in the 1950s and to goods in the 1960s. The nearest stations today are Wickham Market (7 miles (11 km)) at Campsea Ashe and Saxmundham (8 miles (13 km)), both on the East Suffolk Line.

The town is at the junction of the B1116, B1119 and B1120 roads, four miles (6.4 km) west of the A12. The local bus services are detailed on the Suffolk On Board site.

Sport and leisure

Framlingham has a Non-League football club, Framlingham Town F.C., which plays at Badingham Road, where there is a sports club offering tennis, archery, badminton, hockey and croquet. It is also where the cycling club meets. The town has a rambling club and an active Scout and Cubs group. The modern St John Ambulance Centre is in Fairfield Road.

Framlingham College, an Independent School has a swimming pool and gymnasium open to the public in pre-booked slots. Membership fees are required.


Framlingham College is an independent, co-educational secondary school for boarders and day students, opened as Albert Memorial College in 1865 in memory of Albert, Prince Consort. Its associated preparatory school is at Brandeston Hall.

Thomas Mills High School, dating from 1751, is considerably older than Framlingham College. It is a mixed secondary state school for pupils aged 11–18, which gained academy status in 2011. The singer Ed Sheeran attended this school.

Of the town's three primary schools, the oldest is Sir Robert Hitcham's Church of England Voluntary Primary School, dating back to at least 1654. It now has 350 pupils and another 26 in its nursery.

Notable people

In order of birth:

  • Thomas Howard, 2nd Duke of Norfolk (1443–1524), who held office under four kings, died at Framlingham Castle.
  • Sir Robert Hitcham (c. 1572–1636), was a member of Parliament, attorney general and philanthropist, who bought Framlingham Castle in 1635.
  • Theophilus Howard, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, KG (1584–1640), politician, owned Framlingham Castle until 1635.
  • Thomas Danforth, a Massachusetts Bay Colony magistrate and landowner born in 1623 in Framlingham, son of Nicholas
  • Samuel Danforth, poet, Puritan and evangelist to American Indians, born in 1626 in Framlingham, son of Nicholas
  • Nicholas Revett, architect and theorist, born in Framlingham in 1720
  • Alethea Lewis (1749–1787), the novelist, brought up by her maternal grandfather in Framlingham
  • Edmund Goodwyn (1756–1832), physician born in Framlingham, who discovered the diving reflex
  • Robert Hindes Groome (1810–1889), composer, author and cleric, born in Framlingham
  • Henry Thompson (1820–1894), polymath and surgeon who operated on the Belgian royal family, born in Framlingham
  • John Cordy Jeaffreson (1831–1901), writer and lawyer, born in Framlingham
  • Samuel Cornell Plant (1866–1921), master mariner and Senior Inspector, Upper Yangtze River
  • Francis Stocks (1873–1929), county cricketer, died in Framlingham
  • Frederick Bird (1875–1965), county cricketer and cleric, born in Framlingham
  • Michael Lord (born 1938), deputy speaker and MP for the town, took the title Baron Framlingham rather than "Lord Lord" on becoming a life peer.
  • Charles Freeman (born 1947), former Head of History at St Clare's, Oxford, and teacher of Ancient History for Cambridge University's Extramural programme, was a prolific author on ancient, Christian and early medieval history.
  • Alice Russell (born 1976), soul singer, grew up in Framlingham.
  • Christina Johnston (born 1989), classical coloratura soprano, grew up in Framlingham and attended Framlingham College.
  • Laura Wright (born 1990), classical/popular crossover soprano, grew up in Framlingham.
  • Ed Sheeran (born 1991), singer–songwriter, grew up in Framlingham and attended Thomas Mills High School. The town is the subject of his hit single "Castle on the Hill".
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