Monday, 13 July 2015

Sudeley Castle

Last Wednesday saw me on a coach trip to Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, courtesy of the H&R U3A History Group.  I am no longer a member of this group, but when I was, it was the one trip that I wanted to do.

Sudeley is steeped in history, but I was particularly interested in the period from 1400 onwards as at this time it passed into the hands of Edward IV.  He gave it to his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who owned it for nine years and used it as his base for the Battle of Tewkesbury.  Richard then exchanged the castle for Richmond Castle in Yorkshire.
Entry is through the ruins of the Tithe Barn
The Echiums were brilliant
When Edward IV died his brother, now Richard III inherited the castle again and built the Banqueting Hall, that is a ruin now, courtesy, at a later date, of Oliver Cromwell's army!
This must have been magnificent with all those windows
Sudeley was still in Royal hands when Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn visited, and when Edward VI (whose mother was Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII) inherited it from his father he passed it to his Uncle, Thomas Seymour, whom he appointed Lord Sudeley and later his Lord High Admiral.

Thomas Seymour had been courting Katherine Parr, before she became Henry VIII's sixth and final wife and he took up with her again and married her within six months of Henry's death.  Very quick as the royal court was still in mourning!!  She moved to Sudeley with her full royal retinue of over 150 people and Lady Jane Grey, a cousin of Edward VI.  Unfortunately she died giving birth to a daughter and was buried at Sudeley Castle with Lady Jane Grey as the chief mourner.  Her husband left before the funeral as he considered his wife a failure - no son to inherit and no use now as an ex Queen!!  What a charmer!!!!  As Katherine was her step-mother, Princess Elizabeth stayed at Sudeley and got to know Thomas, who when his wife died rushed off to press his suite with her, but Elizabeth spurned him. 

Katherine is buried in the chapel -

The Queens' garden - Katherine Parr, Elizabeth I and Lady Jane Grey
Chapel of St Mary's in the background.
Found on the top of the original coffin
This is the Victorian tomb of Queen Katherine with the coffin inside it.
I loved this table organ
There was so much to see in the house, which is still the family home of the Dent-Brocklehursts who bought it in the 1830s and the gardens were lovely.  Much restoration was undertaken in Victorian times by Emma Dent and her memorabilia kept me busy for the morning!  She was an original autograph hunter and corresponded with the great and the good of the period.

Finally I looked round the gardens and loved this piece of topiary in the making!
Emma Dent sitting in her scented garden with dog at her feet.
A wonderful day out to see the final resting place of a Queen.


  1. I love a bit of history. Well condensed Carol. Lovely gardens too

  2. You really are the historian aren't you? Thanks for all that interesting history and the tour of the ruins and garden. Lovely day for you

  3. This was really interesting, Carol, and as I read it I couldn't help wondering which fictional book I had read all this in, you made me want to read it again! Lovely photographs and nice to have the history like this. Barbara xx

    1. Thanks Barbara. Katherine Parr was the most interesting of Henry's wives and she was an excellent step mother to his three children.