Orford Museum

Orford Museum is located in the upper hall of Orford Castle. It collects and displays historical material relating to the area roughly between the Butley River and the River Alde. It includes Orford, once a busy market and port, with Orford Ness, Gedgrave and Havergate Island, and the villages of Sudbourne, Chillesford, Boyton, Butley and Iken.

The display features part of the regalia of the former Borough and items relating to the archaeology and social history of Orford and the surrounding area. It includes a remarkable collection of Bronze Age artefacts found at Butley and on loan from the Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service, material from Orford Ness and from the lighthouse which will soon be washed into the sea.

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Images by kind permission of Michelle Belle; Munters Environmental Control Systems

Graphics panels feature maps, pictures and photographs illustrating the local story from earliest times to the present day including the real story of the extraordinary “merman” found off Orford and kept alive for years in the Castle in medieval times.

Admission to Orford Museum is free but English Heritage opening times and admission charges apply to get into Orford Castle.

For up to date information please visit the English Heritage website:


Orford Museum is staffed entirely by volunteers. It has no income other than Friends’ subscriptions and the visitors' donation box. All contributions will be welcomed.

Disabled Access

Temporary exhibitions and a touch-screen kiosk featuring a virtual museum tour are located in St Bartholomew’s church (open daily) for visitors who find the steep steps up to the castle difficult. Wheelchair entry is via the north door of the church. Please note the exhibition may occasionally be removed because of concerts or other events.

For further information please visit our website www.orfordmuseum.org.uk where you will also find details of how to join The Friends of Orford Museum and see our Publications and News page.