Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sudeley Castle

What trip to England is complete without a tour of a ruined Castle?!  Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire (pronounced Soodley (as in mood) near Winchcombe)  has the requisite colorful history to satisfy!
You enter the castle grounds by walking along a short wooded path and come to the stone doorway pictured above.
You enter this garden room created by the walls of the old stable!
Cross  the 'stable' to another door where you are greeted by this sight!
Part of the castle was restored in the early 1800's and part was left as ruins.
For a time Sudeley was owned by Richard III.  Henry VIII visited here with Anne Bowlynn and Elizabeth I visited 3 times almost bankrupting the Lord or the castle because entertaining a Queen is a very costly business!  The last wife of King Henry VIII,  Catherine Parr also lived here after the death of the king.

Knot garden with view of part of the ruined  great dining hall.
Looking into the dining hall from one end.
The Castle Chapel where Catherine Parr is entombed.
I think my favorite part of the Castle was the juxtaposition of the gardens to the ruins.  View of the Great Banquet Hall from the formal gardens.
The Castle was Trashed by Cromwell's forces and Layed in ruin for almost 200 years at which time it was adopted by some rich merchants who spent a lot of time and $ restoring the salvageable parts.  The end you see there on the left and the chapel on the right.  Then the Victorian owners took over and filled it full of authentic period furniture, paneling etc.  The Castle is still privately owned by the descendants of the Victorian owners and I think they've done a fabulous job of making a lot of the estate available to the public.  It is really one of the most interesting historical places we visited.

Tomorrow we return home.  We've had a wonderful vacation, full of all kinds of adventures, but I'm ready to get home.  I miss my family, sewing room and garden (hopefully there will be some fruit left to pick).
I hope you all have a wonderful end-of-Summer!
cheers, CW


  1. Thanks for the tour of the castle, Claire! Almost makes you want to go back in time, doesn't it?

  2. Claire, what a wonderful blog post. beautiful, enchanting, thought provoking. thank you for sharing. safe travels!

  3. Wow! What a great castle and gardens!! Safe travels!

  4. I always find those old castles so interesting. It's just amazing that they've been left to go to ruin. Such a shame.
    Have a safe trip back to Santa Cruz!!