Plans revealed to preserve walls of Orford Castle for future generations

Orford Castle, which is managed by English Heritage Picture: BARRIE BROOKS/CITIZENSIDE.COM

Orford Castle, which is managed by English Heritage Picture: BARRIE BROOKS/CITIZENSIDE.COM - Credit:

English Heritage has unveiled plans of how it hopes to preserve the future of Orford Castle.

The castle is now over 800 years old and is said to be one of the best examples of a 12th century royal castle, having been built for Henry II.

Last week the charity announced the start of its #LoveCastles appeal which asked for donations to help ensure the future of castles like Orford and Framlingham.

Now the charity has released further details about the castle’s future in a planning application to Suffolk Coastal District Council.

The plans detail the charity’s intentions to re-render some areas of the castle walls to preserve its appearance.

A 30m2 area on the north east elevation of the castle will be addressed in the latest phase of works.

Loose material will be removed from the wall with voids being dubbed out and render applied to the wall with a rough textured finish.

English Heritage believe that the work to the property is necessary to ensure the castle’s future.

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It isn’t the first time that the structure has been treated in this way with repairs of varying quality having been made at regular intervals since the 1930s.

Now, however, there are growing concerns over the condition of some of the material used to build the walls.

“Areas which have not received previous treatment and still retain original pointing have significant fragmentation of septaria,” says one of the reports included in the application, “small sections of stone continue to fall.”

Septaria was a common local material used to build with when the castle was founded.

Over the years the material has fractured and cracked causing the walls to crumble in places.

The material submitted with the application indicates that English Heritage have looked to a number of other local churches and castles to see how repairs have been done there.

English Heritage hope that lessons learnt from these other repairs along with the chosen rendering materials will be able to protect the septaria within the walls and help maintain its appearance for future generations.

Comments on the proposals can be made on the Suffolk Coastal planning site up until September 10. A decision on the plans is expected in October.

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