Framlingham: Town among historic spots set to showcase fascinating heritage

A view of Thomas Mills' tomb, which lies in the garden of his house, now known as Tomb House, in Sta

A view of Thomas Mills' tomb, which lies in the garden of his house, now known as Tomb House, in Station Road, Framlingham

Visitors to an historic market town will be taken on a journey through the ages as part of an initiative celebrating Britain’s past this weekend.

Framlingham is preparing to host a variety of tours, trails, talks and activities charting several centuries of its rich history on Saturday.

The event is part of the annual Heritage Open Days scheme, which this year runs from September 11-14 and will see a number of Suffolk towns offering free access to buildings that may normally be closed to the public or charge admission.

The main base for activities in Framlingham will be the Unitarian Church in Bridge Street, where Sarah Clarke and Kathy Churchill of local marketing firm aboutmedia will help register visitors for walks and tours from 10am until 4pm.

Local experts have been recruited to make the town’s history come alive with revealing insight into some lesser-known landmarks and fresh perspective on more familiar sights.

Condensed Histories by Greg Chapman will share one juggler’s unique take on history using theatre, puppetry, comedy and a variety of interesting props.

A Victorian View of Framlingham will be led by local historian John Bridges, starting and finishing at the Unitarian Church.

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Robert Scrimgeour explores Tombs, Trains and Theatricals, taking in the Thomas Mills Mausoleum and The Round House, while a foraging tour with Vivia Bamford promises to unearth the hidden culinary and medicinal treasures growing underfoot in the shadow of Framlingham Castle, where there will also be a rare chance to view early 19th Century wall paintings at the listed Castle Cottage.

History writer and genealogist Simon Last pays tribute to the men who fought and died in the World Wars at the St Michaels Church memorial, and will also share tips on unlock the secrets of the past with a family tree. The church will also be hosting self-guided tours and teas.

An open afternoon at Framlingham College will feature both the chapel and the vast panelled dining room.

Photographs and ephemera showing how Framlingham has changed be on display at the Unitarian Church – built in 1853 and converted for use as a Methodist chapel in 1885.

Meanwhile, Carley’s Yard arts and antiques retailer will explore the many varied uses of the listed building and the story of the Carley family.

Suffolk Coastal is supporting events across the district.

Felixstowe has more than 50 events on offer from Friday to Sunday, showcasing the town’s heritage and taking in pirate radio, the Orwell Hotel, Walton Smock Mill, Landguard Fort and the Tourist Information Centre building, as well as private houses opening up on a one-off basis and new buildings such as the Felixstowe Academy and China Shipping House.

Woodbridge’s event focuses on its riverside heritage, with links to the Maritime Woodbridge event on Saturday and Sunday, and extended open days activities elsewhere in the town, including at Market Hill.

For details on all open days, visit