Orford

 

Pictures of buildings mentioned in the “Suffolk” volume of “The Buildings of England” series by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner.

Of Orford, Pevsner says “Orford was a town of far greater importance in the Middle Ages than it is now.  It had three churches, a house of Austin Friars, and two hospitals.”  He says its highlights are the main square and Quay Street: this is still true today.  He did not list specific buildings in the original edition, apart from the Church and the Castle (pages 383 - 386).


I first visited Orford in the early 1980’s (staying in the ever popular Crown and Castle Hotel).  It remains an attraction, both for its isolation and windy coastal walks with views of the Ness and because it is a bit of a foodie heaven with Richardson’s  Smokehouse, Pinney’s of Orford with its restaurant ‘The Butley Orford Oysterage’ and, more recently, the Pump Street Bakery with its cafe.


Moving to the main attraction, Orford Castle was built for Henry 2 in 1165 - 7.  Pevsner says it is the first in England to abandon 90 degree angles for a shape that is more easily defended.  Chatham and Odiham are the only other polygonal Norman keeps in England.









The Grade I listed Church of St Bartholomew has Norman origins (1166) but is mainly C14.  The picture below is from the doorway looking out on a rainy night.




I don’t compete with the Suffolk Churches web-site , but Grade l listed Suffolk churches extend their outreach and ministry with other modern uses.  Here is the Janet Seidel Trio from Australia in front of the parclose screen playing jazz on March 16th 2012 entertaining about 250 people.