Ed Sheeran's 'Castle on the Hill' inspires cross-country selfie stops, an Aussie acoustic set and a marriage proposal
PUBLISHED: 11:33 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:19 08 May 2017
The Ed Sheeran effect is still going strong at a landmark celebrated in one of the Suffolk singer's singles.
Visitors continue to flock to Framlingham for a look at the subject of Ed’s ninth top 10 hit – including a touring musician from Down Under, a hopeful boyfriend and his bride-to-be, and a couple who travelled almost 300 miles just for a Castle on the Hill selfie.
Since the first single from his third album came out in January, former Thomas Mills High School pupil Ed has inspired fans from across the world to visit Framlingham Castle, which appears at the end of the video released at the same time.
Another big draw has been the six-and-a-half metre slide set up on scaffolding during the course of a £1.2million conservation project – attracting some 5,000 visitors in the February half term holiday.
A total of 15,000 visitors have passed through the gates since the season began in April.
Kirstie Horne, English Heritage’s property manager at Framlingham Castle, said: Given the time of year, we’ve seen a big increase in numbers – largely down to Ed Sheeran and the slide.
“One young couple came all the way from Blackpool to have a selfie at the castle.”
As well as snapping selfies, visitors are staying to learn more about the castle and take an audio tour of the grounds.
Melbourne musician Jordan Bailey dropped by during a seven-week bike tour of Scotland, England and Ireland. While at the castle, he was encouraged to break out his guitar and play a tune from his soon-to-be released EP.
Pop trio The Tailormade – who include another local singer, Matt Pickersgill, from Woodbridge – were inspired to record their own cover version just outside.
Another visitor was inspired to make a romantic gesture by proposing marriage to his girlfriend on Good Friday. Josh Woodhall dropped to one knee and popped the question to Hayley Bloomfield, who said ‘yes’ as Ed’s How Would You Feel (Paean) played on a mobile phone speaker in the background.
Refurbishment continues on the Poor House within the castle’s curtain walls.
The building was endowed by Sir Robert Hitcham who bought Framlingham Castle in 1635. It was built in 1729 on the site of the castle’s medieval great hall. English Heritage hopes the attraction, and a new café, will be open to visitors in early summer.