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Historical & Natural Attractions

Sudeley Castle

Sudeley Castle, Gloucs

Open between March and end of October.

Sudeley Castle is a fascinating and beautiful castle located at the Western Edge of the Cotswolds. With a history dating back over 1,000 years, Sudeley Castle has been home to many influential figures throughout its lifetime, including Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII.

History

Sudeley Castle has a rich and fascinating history, dating back to the 10th century. The castle was originally built by the Saxon king, Ethelred the Unready, and was later owned by King Harold, who was famously defeated by William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Over the centuries, Sudeley Castle has been owned by a number of important and influential families, including the de Sudeley family, the Boteler family, and the Dent family. The castle was also the site of an important battle during the English Civil War, when it was held by Royalist forces and besieged by Parliamentarian troops.

One of the most famous figures to have lived at Sudeley Castle was Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII. Queen Catherine lived at the castle during the 16th century, and her presence can still be felt in the castle’s beautifully restored rooms.

Gardens

One of the highlights of a visit to Sudeley Castle is the castle’s beautiful gardens. The gardens have been carefully maintained over the centuries and are widely regarded as some of the finest in England.
Visitors can explore 10 different garden areas, including the Tithe Barn ruins, turned into romantic gardens with Koi Carp ponds and spectacular views of the castle. The knot garden is a sheltered garden which is based on a Tudor design. In the Queens Garden, which is named after 4 queens are over 80 varieties of roses, and the herb garden, which is home to a range of fragrant herbs and plants. There is also a secret garden which is very colourful and changes with the seasons. It has over 2500 Tulips in the Spring. Other gardens include the Tudor Physic Garden which has plants that the Tudors used as medicines and cures. The East Garden is a very calm and peaceful place. The Mulberry Garden which has a Mulberry tree surrounded by country flowers and cool greenery. The White Garden surrounds St Mary’s Church and all blooms are white. Finally, the gardens around the ruined banqueting hall, which was destroyed in the Civil War. Full of wild plants and roses.

In addition to the gardens, visitors can also take a leisurely stroll along the castle’s beautiful walks and trails, which wind their way through the castle’s extensive grounds. These include the Prince’s Walk, which offers stunning views of the castle and the surrounding countryside, and the Mulberry Garden Walk, which takes visitors through a beautiful orchard and past a historic mulberry tree.

Exhibitions and Displays

Sudeley Castle also houses a number of fascinating exhibitions and displays, showcasing everything from ancient Roman artifacts to antique furniture and fine art. Visitors can explore the castle’s extensive collection of artifacts and learn about the castle’s rich and fascinating history.

One of the most popular exhibitions is the Katherine Parr Exhibition, which is located in the castle’s restored Tudor bedchamber. The exhibition features a range of artifacts related to Queen Katherine, including her prayer book, her royal seal, and a lock of her hair.

Other exhibitions include the Civil War Exhibition, which tells the story of the castle’s involvement in the English Civil War, and the Dent-Brocklehurst Family Exhibition, which showcases the history of the castle’s previous owners.

Restored Rooms

Visitors to Sudeley Castle can also explore the castle’s beautifully restored rooms, which offer a glimpse into the castle’s rich and fascinating history. These include the Tudor bedchamber where Queen Catherine Parr lived and died, as well as the library, which houses a collection of rare books and manuscripts.

Visitors can also see the chapel, which is the final resting place of Queen Catherine Parr, as well as the Banqueting Hall, which is one of the largest and most impressive rooms in the castle. The Banqueting Hall is home to a stunning 16th century plaster ceiling and a collection of antique furniture.

Special Events and Activities

Throughout the year, Sudeley Castle hosts a range of special events and activities.

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