With over 1,000 years of history, there is so much to learn about Sudeley. It’s no secret that it is the only privately owned castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds – Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six wives, or that it is home to 10 award-winning gardens. You may think you know Sudeley, but there is always more discover…
1. War Wounds
In the midst of the Civil War in 1599, Oliver Cromwell and his Parliamentary troops attacked the castle. While the buildings have been restored over the years, a battle wound still remains 418 years later, in the shape of a cannon ball hole in the side of Octagon Tower. It was during this same war that Charles I took refuge at Sudeley.
2. Material Girl
In the 19th century, Emma Dent assembled – what is still to this day – one of the most important collections of textiles in the country. Much of this is on display in the Long Room at Sudeley, including a particular highlight of Emma’s collection, a lace canopy said to have been made by Anne Boleyn for the christening of her daughter, Princess Elizabeth.
3. Remember My Name
The 2nd Baron Chandos, Edmund Brydges, devoted his final years to restoring Sudeley and carried out extensive alterations and additions which have made the castle what it is today. Before his death in 1573, he truly left his mark on the castle by etching his initials into the stone fireplace in the library – which are still visible today!
4. A Bed Fit for a Queen
Sudeley has seen its fair share of British royalty over the years, however the castle also has a somewhat unusual link to the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette. The bed in the Long Room at Sudeley is adorned with Louis XV Aubusson bed hangings, and matching bedcovers. These were originally made for the French queen, and were bought by the Dents at the sale of Horace Walpole’s famous Strawberry Hill collection in 1842.
5. Smelling of Roses
Situated on original Tudor parterre, The Queens’ Garden is regarded as the centerpiece of Sudeley. It often comes as a surprise to many that there are over 70 varieties of roses in this one garden alone, and the magnificent yew trees which surround the area were planted some 150 years ago by Victorian chatelaine, Emma Dent.