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Tourism award for Orford Castle

PUBLISHED: 00:08 09 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2010

IT was all coming up roses for one of Suffolk's best-known tourist attractions today.

Orford Castle, enjoyed by thousands of visitors from all over the country every year, has been given the English Tourism Council's (ETC) national quality award.

IT was all coming up roses for one of Suffolk's best-known tourist attractions today.

Orford Castle, enjoyed by thousands of visitors from all over the country every year, has been given the English Tourism Council's (ETC) national quality award.

The monument receives the coveted Red Rose – one of English Heritage's sixth attractions in the region to win it.

Ben Durston-Thorndyke, English Heritage's regional marketing manager, said everyone at the castle was delighted with the seal of approval from such a prestigious body.

"Such accreditation not only helps add to the appeal of the sites, but also ensures that we are meeting the requirements of our visitors," he said.

ETC officials assess the attractions thoroughly, looking at all aspects of the experience of visitors, before deciding which places should receive the Red Rose.

Christopher Howard, of the ETC, said: "English Heritage continues to ensure that their sites are of the highest quality. Our service offers a consumer-focused quality assessment that identifies strengths and also highlights any opportunities for site development.

"We do not grade attractions, but assess each on its own merits using objective quality benchmarks provided by the industry. The visits are made annually and are carried out during normal public open hours."

Orford Castle – the keep of which rises 90ft from its mound overlooking the village and sea – was built by Henry II in the 12th century as a coastal defence.

Originally a keep and bailey castle Orford was typical of the Norman Conquest with a walled enclosure and a great tower which stood as a lordly residence and an independent defendable strong point.

It is open daily and visitors can take advantage of personal 45 minute audio tours of its many rooms and levels, including the sheriff's room chapel basement and roof. The castle has one of the best recorded histories of any in the country.

The other English Heritage sites to have the Red Rose are Audley End House and Gardens, Castle Acre Priory, Row 111 House and Old Merchant's House in Great Yarmouth, Framlingham Castle, and Wrest Park Gardens.

WEBLINK: www.english-heritage.org.uk


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