The Tudor Society

The Executed Queens Tour – Day 2 -Sudeley Castle

After a filling breakfast (Full English for me!), our lovely coach driver, Alan, took us to Sudeley Castle, in Winchcombe, in the Cotswolds.

As well as being the home and place of death of Catherine Parr, sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII, Sudeley also served as home to Lady Jane Grey, one of our executed queens, in 1548. Jane was the ward of Catherine's fourth husband, Thomas Seymour, 1st Baron Seymour of Sudeley, who owned the castle, and so joined Catherine there when she retired to Sudeley as she prepared for the birth of her first and only child. Jane was at Sudeley when Catherine died in September 1548 and acted as chief mourner at Catherine's funeral at the church within the grounds.

We were given a wonderful Tudor-focused guided tour before being given free time to enjoy lunch (a cream tea for me!) and to go back around the house, church and gardens. It is such a beautiful place and I love the roses that climb the ruins - the castle having been damaged and then "slighted" in the English Civil War.

Favourite bits for me today:

  • Seeing Catherine Parr's tomb in the church
  • The Knot Garden - based on the pattern on Elizabeth I's skirt in "An Allegory of the Tudor Succession" painting, which is on display in the castle
  • The haunting ruins - They are just stunning
  • Morbidly, the lock of hair, tooth and other artefacts taken from Catherine's tomb before she was reinterred
  • Copies of Catherine's published works

Here are some photos I took. Apologies for not labelling them!



In the church:

Things taken from Catherine's tomb:

Then it was time to get back to Brockencote Hall to freshen up before dinner. After some delicious canapés, we had a scrumptious three-course meal, with coffee and petit-fours, and then it was time for my lovely co-leader and friend, Philippa Lacey Brewell to give us a talk in Mary, Queen of Scots, and Elizabeth I. The talk was excellent, as were the questions afterwards. We then retired to the patio to talk more Tudor and to put the world to rights. A wonderful evening after a fabulous day.

If you fancy joining us on a tour next year, you can find out more or register at https://www.britishhistorytours.com

There are 8 comments Go To Comment

  1. C

    Whoever took the pictures of Sudeley has an amazing eye! Those gardens were breathtaking, and the artifacts inside were amazing. I would LOVE to see all this in person!

  2. K

    So would I Caren. Looks like a great group. I would have been in my element! I am in Australia though.

  3. C

    I was there last week. What is your opinion on the Elizabeth I christening gown? Also, do you think that the canopy o display was actually worked by Anne and her ladies?
    Check out my photos on GB

  4. R

    I was there two weeks ago and the family had a birthday party which they were getting ready for so we met some of the family. The collection has been lovingly brought together by the grandmother of Lady Ashecombe, who has preserved its history and the Dent family brought the castle back to life after 200 years or so of neglect after the English Civil War. It is a lovely place and a wonderful collection put together with love.

    Lovely photos, Claire, thanks for sharing. My favourite parts are the Queens Walk and Garden of Katherine Parr, her tomb and her personal items. I loved her prayer book and the beautiful baby clothes belonging to little Mary Seymour. Richard’s Banqueting Hall may be a haunting ruin thanks to Oliver Cromwell but its clear to see how magnificent it was at its height. The gardens are fantastic. There was a marquee being put up a couple of weeks ago for the party. I also loved the relics from Charles I, his ring and gloves. Some young family members came into the bedroom and hugged everyone there. They were actually going to use the room that night. It was a bit weird but very friendly meeting members of the family. I think I also enjoyed seeing the film of Brock the family badger and the story of the castle. Seeing the reconstruction of Eleanor Butler and the few remains of Queen Katherine was very moving. We went there last year at the same time as well.

  5. R

    Steve’s favourite was the Queens loo lol.

  6. M

    Do they sell copies of Queen Catherine’s books? Are they published currently and available for purchase?

    Thanks for sharing your experience!
    Michelle t

    1. R

      Hi Michelle Lamentations of a Sinner and her prayers are available on Amazon in modern form. Hope you find one.

  7. D

    Wonderful pictures. Oh boy do I wish I was there with you!

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The Executed Queens Tour – Day 2 -Sudeley Castle