Few castles have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley and many treasures from our long and eventful history are now on display in a fascinating exhibition.
Called ‘Royal Sudeley 1,000, Trials, Triumphs and Treasures’, the recently refurbished exhibition highlights key moments of the Castle’s history, while showcasing a remarkable collection of priceless objects and curiosities illustrating the history of Sudeley Castle and its owners.It is housed in the original 15th century west wing of the castle, and is the biggest refurbishment the castle has seen for more than 20 years.
Among the items on show are a tragic queen’s love letters, a Victorian pedometer and a long-lost Roman stone God previously thought missing for more than 100 years and later found hidden away in a cupboard at Sudeley.
Numerous items of historic significance are also on display, such as a lock of Katherine Parr’s hair, her prayer book and an intricate lace christening canopy believed to have been worked on by Anne Boleyn for the christening of her daughter, Elizabeth I.
The exhibition offers insights into the lives of the current chatelaine of the castle, Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe, who has lived at Sudeley for 50 years, and her children Henry and Mollie.
It also includes for the first time, objects brought into the collection by Lady Ashcombe’s second husband, Harry Ashcombe, whose grandmother, Alice Keppel, is represented by fascinating memorabilia from her relationship with Edward VII.
The hugely significant ‘Bohun Book of Hours’ can also be seen at Sudeley Castle. Consisting of several works from varying dates, bound together for Henry VIII, it pre-dates the Black Death and is thought to be one of just six of its kind in the world.
Many items within the exhibition were collected from all over the world by Sudeley’s Victorian chatelaine, Emma Dent, a philanthropist and avid collector.
Visitors can also see one of the finest collections of textiles in the country, a beautiful collection of gloves on loan from the Dent glove museum, and a vast collection of autographs including those of Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Charles Darwin.