Sudeley Castle is preparing to re-open its doors to the public for its busiest most ambitious season yet.
The castle re-opens on Monday March 4 and will be kicking off its 2019 season with visits from some of its most famous past inhabitants, including Queen Katherine Parr, who will be welcoming visitors on the opening day.
Queen Katherine is among eight historic reenactors, including Thomas Seymour, Anne Herbert, Princess Elizabeth and her governess, who will be at the attraction on Monday March 4 to celebrate the start of the 2019 season.
Sudeley Castle was one of the Tudors’ most treasured palaces, often housing those closest to the crown. Today the castle is home to Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, who this year celebrates 50 years of living at Sudeley after moving there in 1969 with her husband Mark Dent-Brocklehurst.
General Manager, Wendy Walton, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Sudeley to enjoy our beautiful castle and gardens. 2019 is a big year for us – not only is it 50 years since Lady Ashcombe moved here but it also promises to be our most ambitious year to date.
“We have a fantastic programme of events on offer throughout the year, and we are really pulling out all the stops to ensure this will be a great year for Sudeley.”
There will be a host of new events on offer for the first time this year, including summer evening garden tours, dawn chorus walks, outdoor theatre productions of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream among the beautiful castle ruins, and a new ‘Women of Sudeley’ exhibition in September.
Wendy added: “Spring is just around the corner and it’s my favourite time of year at Sudeley Castle. Our 10 award-winning gardens come to life and are awash with colour - it won’t be long before the tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers emerge, shortly followed by our spectacular display of more than 80 varieties of rose in full bloom.”
Despite being closed for two months over winter, it’s been busy behind the scenes at the castle as a dedicated team of conservationists has given dozens of hours of their time to prepare the castle for its reopening.
Spring cleaning this magnificent residence is no small feat – it includes polishing and cleaning hundreds of treasures, jewels, paintings, books, ornaments and curios that tell its fascinating one thousand year story.
“We start preparing for the spring opening the moment we shut the doors for winter,” explains Wendy. “Each year we give the whole castle a thorough clean, methodically working our way through each and every item in the entire exhibition, whether that be polishing armour, dusting paintings, cleaning pottery and antiques or re-hanging delicate items from our textile collection.
“It’s a huge undertaking but one that is incredibly important, not only to ensure we are looking our best when we re-open, but also because we are responsible for protecting and preserving the hundreds of artefacts in our care.”
Today Sudeley Castle is widely recognised as one of the most romantic and beautiful castles in England, surrounded by a 1,200 acre estate and 10 award-winning gardens.
For more information about Sudeley Castle, which re-opens for the new season on Monday, March 4, visit www.sudeleycastle.co.uk or phone 01242 602 308.