LONDON, June 17 (Xinhua) -- A 12th century castle which played a part in seeing the first female queen gain the throne of England has re-opened after a 1.6-million-U.S.-dollar conservation project.
Framlington Castle in the southern county of Suffolk, was used over centuries as the center of a vast network of power and influence to a 17th century home for the poor.
It reopened its doors Friday giving visitors a chance to explore its rich history spanning 900 years.
To mark the re-opening, a new exhibition has been created within the castle's workhouse, which features an interactive walkthrough of the castle's varied owners that bring the history of its past inhabitants to life.
Previous residents include Mary Tudor, daughter of King Henry VIII, who was stationed at the castle when she was proclaimed queen of England in 1553.
A devout Roman Catholic, Mary, during her five year reign ordered nearly 300 religious dissenters to be burned at the stake. It earned her the nickname "Bloody Mary", a name that has been linked to a famous cocktail drink.
Mary was holed up at the castle during a national drama lasting nine days following the death of her brother, amid a dispute over who would take the throne of England.
She won the fight, and ruled until her death in 1558 when her sister Elizabeth 1 became Queen. Mary, though, is considered to be the first female queen of the nation.
Framlingham Castle played a starring role in the video for Ed Sheeran's the hit single "Castle on the Hill", recorded by the famous British pop star Ed Sheeran. He described the single as a "love song to Suffolk", describing how he often "watched the sun set over the castle on the hill".
The castle is now managed as a tourist attraction by the official body English Heritage.