Large ringwork and bailey, started sometime after 1086 and destroyed 1175. Rebuilt from 1189. Ring surmounted by curtain wall with 13 square towers dating from late C12. Taken without a fight in 1215. Converted into Tudor residence. Interior medieval buildings lost but curtain remains basically intact and to full height. In flint and coursed septaria with frees tone quoins and dressings. Battlemented curtain walls and 13 square cowers built by Roger Bigod II in a reconstruction of 1190-1200, incorporating fragments, between the 6th and 7th towers, of walls and of a stone hall built in the early C12 by Hugh Bigod. Gateway and bridge built by Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk, circa 1520-30 to replace the earlier drawbridge. His arms are set over the entrance in a worn stone panel. The red brick chimney-stacks with ornamental shafts which top the towers were added at about the same time; some are dummies. In 1635 the castle was sold by Theophilus Howard, Earl of Suffolk, to Sir Robert Hitcham, who bequeathed it in the following year to Pembroke College, Cambridge, stipulating that the buildings within the walls should be demolished and a Poor-House built. The buildings were gradually demolished during the course of the next century.
This was the site of a Saxon manorial caput, possibly containing a minister church. The dating of the earthworks is uncertain and the relationship between the castle ditches and the town ditches is uncomfortable. Magnus Alexander (2007, p. 52-3) suggests further areas for research mainly focusing on the Saxon history of the site. The unusual form of Framlingham Castle is often noted and Gatehouse suspects the answer lies in the form of the Saxon settlement and manorial complex.