Sunday, August 25, 2013

UK Trip Blog #46: Sudeley Castle: Romans, Richard III, Banqueting House

Tom walking up to the castle
On Monday, June 24, we were on our second to last day of vacation in the U.K. After a great breakfast at the Langdon House (Sonja whipped up a tasty breakfast as usual), we set out for the highway. The Langdon House in Windsor is not only a great place, but it's convenient to everything, including the highway. We departed at 8:30 a.m. for Sudeley Castle.

Gate looking from the castle to fields with sheep

GETTING THERE -When we were about 20 miles from the castle, our GPS unit went bonkers again and we got lost in Cheltenham. We pulled over and Tom asked a UPS driver who said we were quite lost. The town of Cheltenham has 2 lane roads, dropping to one lane, populated, and full of buildings, cars and people. We finally got to the castle, but once again, it was sheer terror driving there!

This was built on a Roman settlement

SUDELEY CASTLE'S HISTORY - According to, Sudeley was the former home of Queen Catherine Parr, the last surviving wife of King Henry VIII - which is why we went there. Tom is an amateur historian of sorts on Tudor History.

a recreation of Roman tiled flooring
another Roman tile design
   Sudeley goes all the way back to 500-798  A.D. That's when the Romans were there. They built villas in the area around Winchcombe (which is where the castle is located).  y Winchcombe became the chief city of Mercia under King Offa.   In 877 Vikings arrived there and caused damage to an Abbey that was built on the grounds in 811.
Recreation of a roman tiled floor

Sudeley changed hands between several times and by 1469, Sudeley Castle became Royal property (the owner had to sell it to King Edward IV, who in turn granted it to his brother, Richard Duke of Gloucester.

RICHARD III - The "PARKING LOT KING" -  Remember I mentioned in earlier blogs that while we were on vacation in the U.K. we learned that King Richard III's bones were discovered under a parking lot?  (as Anne Marie from ATP vacations sang, '"nah, nah, nah, put up a parking lot!")  Well, Richard III became owner of Sudeley Castle in 1483, but when he died in battle in 1485 the ownership went to Henry VIII.
Banqueting House ruins
TUDOR TAKEOVER -     Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn visited the Castle from July 21st-26th, 1535.

WHEN DID KATHERINE PARR MOVE IN? - When Henry VIII died in 1547, his son, King Edward VI, gave Sudeley Castle to his Uncle, Sir Thomas Seymour, appointing him Lord of Sudeley and later Lord High Admiral of England. Seymour married Henry VIII’s 6th wife and widow, Katherine Parr.

The destroyed Banqueting House

BANQUETING HOUSE RUINS - A Banqueting House was used not only for banqueting but royal receptions, and ceremonies. The Banqueting house was behind the castle and only two walls stood (and only partially). All of the windows were gone, and the area was cordoned off.

Rob and Tom posing near the Banqueting House


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next