Exploring Suffolk

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle

I am now located in the portion of England that they call East Anglia.  Its essentially the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire.  Honestly, I think out of all the UK, this is the most boring, plain area.  Not that I am complaining, or saying it doesn’t have its beauty, for it does, but it doesn’t seem to compare to the rest of the country.  That will not be stopping me from enjoying my time here, though!  There is still plenty to see and do!  One day in July, I set off to do just that.  I picked an area of coastline that looked pretty and set out.  The drive was about 90 minutes and we found lots of places along the way.

Tomb of the Earl of Surrey

Tomb of the Earl of Surrey

Our first find, was Framlingham Castle, built in 1148.  In English history, my favorite period, was that of the Tudors.  King Henry VIII and his multiple wives has always had my interest, even before that HBO show, The Tudors, came around.  So it was much to my delight to find that this castle, during that time period, had belonged to the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Howard.  Thomas eventually, like so many others, found himself on the king’s bad side, held in the Tower of London, and sentenced to die.  Luck favored him, though, and King Henry VIII died the day before his sentence was to be carried out.  Henry’s son, Edward VI, pardoned him, but gave Framlingham Castle to his elder half-sister, Mary.  It was here, in 1553, that she rose to power and was pronounced queen.  She gathered her forces in this castle, before heading to London.  I think it needless to say, but I was a little excited to see this castle once I realized what it was!

Church of St Andrew the Archangel

Church of St Andrew the Archangel

Just down the street from the castle was the Church of St. Michael the Archangel.  Entombed in the church were some of the Howards, including the Earl of Surrey, another person so unfortunate as to cross paths with the king and lose his head for it.  Henry’s illegitimate son, from the Lady Blount, Henry Fitzroy, is also here, with his wife.  I love finding surprises like this along the way!  It makes for a successful, satisfying day of exploring…

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