Friday, November 18, 2011

Sudeley Castle and Chapel

The ruins of Sudeley Castle Nr. Winchcombe
in the Cotswolds

map (minus the arrow) from

We started out at Cirencester, (just about the middle of the map above) where we spent a few nights at a great B&B. From there, we drove straight north on a narrow (aren't they all narrow??) formerly-Roman road (sometimes path) called the White Way. It was the short cut. Short cuts in England are not necessarily faster, but way more fun and interesting!

From the Sudeley Castle Website:
(I learned my lesson!)

The Castle was once home to Queen Katherine Parr, the last and surviving wife of King Henry VIII. Henry himself, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Queen Elizabeth 1 and Richard III have all played a part in Sudeley’s story. King Charles 1 found refuge here during the Civil War, when his nephew Prince Rupert established headquarters at the Castle.

Following it’s ‘slighting’ on Cromwell’s orders at the end of the Civil War, Sudeley lay neglected and derelict for nearly 200 years. King George III was among those sightseers who came to admire its romantic ruins.

Continuing from the website...

'Then in 1837 Sudeley was rescued by the wealthy Worcester glove-makers, brothers John and William Dent, who began an ambitious restoration programme which was continued by their nephew, John Coucher Dent, when he inherited the Castle in 1855. His wife, Emma Brocklehurst, threw herself enthusiastically into Sudeley’s restoration, at the same time forging strong links with the nearby town of Winchcombe. It is the results of Emma’s dedication that are so evident in the gardens and exhibitions at Sudeley today.

The Chapel

Chapel Rood Screen and Pulpit

Inside the small, cold, and dank chapel

Tomb of Catherine Parr, Sixth wife of Henry VIII
Sudeley Chapel

...Sudeley is now the home of the Dent-Brocklehursts and Lord and Lady Ashcombe. The family are committed to the continued preservation of the Castle and its treasures and the ongoing restoration and regeneration of the gardens.'

I was told that Hugh Grant hangs out there (not necessarily in the chapel, but that area) with friends from time to time. I'm not a huge Hugh Grant fan and thought he was a mediocre Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility, but one of my all-time favorite movies is Two Weeks' Notice, in which he was absolutely hilarious!!

The Sweet Cotswold Sheep north of Cirencester
(You thought I'd miss an opportunity to include those sweet little faces??) 

Be sure to enter my 5-Bar Handcrafted Soap'n'Such Giveaway. Ends tonight, Nov.18 at 10 PM. Winner will be announced tomorrow here on Cranberry Morning!

...and more! Check out all my soaps at

Have a great weekend, everyone!



Marti said...

Thanks for the armchair tour. I love old places.

Parsley said...

I wish I could travel these areas. SOOO beautiful.

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Judy, just when I was thinking my favorite photo was the second one (isn't that Cotswold stone gorgeous), you had to include a photo of the sheep--too adorable! (But not as adorable as Lionel, of course!)

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Sudeley certainly has atmosphere. The top picture looks a little spooky! I love that all the castles had chapels in them.

Robin said...

Judy, I loved my visit to Sudeley, the chapel was pretty inside. Also,had a nice garden. Of course, my favorite picture is the lambs. I had to show Daisy, my granddaughter the picture...she loved it (she's 4 1/2). Hope you have a great Thanksgiving week and safe travels.

Ruth Kelly said...

Love the tour - I didn't get to visit that part of England when I was there.

Unknown said...

Beautiful pics! Thanks for the escape to a far off place tonight! I'm trying to stay out of everyone's hair as the girls entertain! ;-)

Denise said...

I enjoyed these pictures.

Midwest to Midlands said...

We have driven by there several times, but have never stopped for a visit. What a great area of the country.

Jennie Rainsford said...

Hi Judy
We're really glad you enjoyed your visit to Sudeley. Next year is the 500th anniversay of Katherine Parr's birth so we're having a season of festivals with Tudor fun days, talks and events. Hope to see you at Sudeley again one day!
Kind regards
The Sudeley Team

J_on_tour said...

I found the first two images fascinating with the history too. Henry VIII seems to leave his prints everywhere.
It's somewhere I have been so close to and yet so far. On my Easyjet trips to Bristol, we often travelled up to Cheltenham by car for some informal shopping. A couple of times I insisted travelling on the nearby Gloucester Warwickshire railway due to specific traction that was operating. I remember wandering around & having afternoon tea in Winchcombe, sadly though Sudeley wasn't to be.


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