Descriptions of the local attractions with links wherever possible and some details of local services.
The town of Framlingham is dominated by its superb castle. One of the earliest curtain walled castles in England it remains in outstanding condition and it is still possible to walk the full length of the 12th Century battlements. It was in this castle that Mary Tudor waited to hear whether she or Lady Jane Grey had been declared Queen. Inside the walls is found an attractive 17th Century poorhouse and carved medieval stone heads. A large (1mb) picture may be found here.
Also within the castle is the Lanman Museum. Named after Mr. Harold Lanman, (1893-1979) a long standing resident of Framlingham who began collecting from local people items that were of historic or local interest. The majority of the artifacts date from the middle of the 19th Century and give a cameo of life in the community during the last 150 years.
The word "mere" means lake and Framlingham Mere is a 33 acre lake that since 1988 has been leased to Suffolk Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve. The mere has changed little over the centuries other than to gradually silt up. It would appear that historically it was much deeper than today. The River Ore which feeds it was believed to have carried small ships to Framlingham from the coast in the 12th & 13th Centuries. Today it is the home to some 80 species of birds and some 290 species of plant. Circular walks have been created and the Trust are now restoring the depth of the Mere and the water meadows. Sir Robert Hitcham School also have a page on the science work for the Mere
Framlingham College was founded in 1865 under Royal Charter as the Suffolk memorial to Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria and was intended to reflect the Prince's interest in the development of Technical and Business education.
Today the college is a centre of all round academic excellence and enjoys a fine reputation as a fully co-educational school. There are at present about 750 day and boarding pupils who benefit from the outstanding science laboratories, the design and technology complex as well as the all weather floodlit hockey pitches and tennis courts.
Are you an old Framlinghamian? Why not visit their site?
Thomas Mills High School
Thomas Mills (1623-1703) was a local businessman and one of the two great benefactors of Framlingham. He made his fortune by hard work, inheritance and a good marriage but bequeathed it to help the needy and the elderly as well as to educate the children of the town and district. Under the terms of his will, the Mills Almshouses were built to provide homes for eight old people. He decreed that any income left over should be used for the education of children. The first Mills School was established in 1751 and existed for over a century. In 1891 the Endowed Schools Commissioners published a scheme to establish Mills Grammar School using the charity's money and some from the Hitcham Trust. The school opened in 1906 with just 25 pupils but grew to about 470 by 1974. In 1979 this the second Mills school joined with the Framlingham Modern School to form the Thomas Mills High School. Family names associated with the castle are used for the 5 school houses and the school motto originally belonged to Mary Tudor who became Queen at Framlingham in 1553.
Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School
Sir Robert Hitcham Primary School is the oldest of the three existing schools in Framlingham. As it's name suggests its foundation can be traced back to Sir Robert Hitcham (1571-1636). Having bought Framlingham Castle in 1635 he willed that there should be a school for 40 boys in Framlingham as well as nearby Debenham and Coggeshall to be supported from the income from his estate. In 1654, after the will had been proven by the Commissioners of Oliver Cromwell's court the school began meeting in the Guildhall in Market Square. A "candle school" is known to have previously existed there, probably connected with the Guild of Saint Mary mentioned in Green's history of Framlingham. Mr. Zaccheus Leverland from London was appointed as the first 'master' of the school.
From 1698 to 1788 the school met above the Market Cross which was an upstairs room in the middle of the Market Square. This came to an end in 1788 when the citizens of Framlingham petitioned the trustees of Sir Robert's will for a better building. They outlined the problem thus: " The schoolroom is an improper one being low and much exposed to heat and cold. The situation is inconvenient being in the heart of the town and children having no place to retire when necessity occasions...much annoyance is caused to inhabitants of the town."
The trustees, Pembroke College in Cambridge, agreed to help and from 1788-1879 the school was in the building to the north of the Hitcham Almshouses. It is known that there was a separate school for girls in a room next to the workhouse within the walls of the castle.
As a consequence of the 1870 Education Act for Framlingham the school made it's final move to it's present site on Hitcham land that was known at that time as the "White Horse Meadow". The school initially had two storeys with the boys upstairs and the girls and infants downstairs. The second storey was removed in the 1930s.
The school has continued to prosper. In 1955 two classrooms were added and two more in 1969. Between 1985 and 1987 extensive remodelling was carried out and the school was provided with a modern hall, library and kitchen. An outdoor swimming pool was added in 1988 and in 1993 a further four new classrooms were built.