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Points of interest
Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, Sudeley Castle & Gardens has played an important role in England’s history for over 1,000 years.
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 I and Richard III have all played a part in Sudeley’s story. King Charles I found refuge here during the Civil War, when his nephew Prince Rupert established headquarters at the Castle. Following its ‘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 amongst those sightseers who came to admire its romantic ruins. 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.
Sudeley Castle & Gardens is now the home of Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe and her son, daughter and their families. The family is committed to the continued preservation of the castle, its treasures and the ongoing restoration and regeneration of the gardens.
Rated amongst the top attractions on TripAdvisor for ‘Things to Do in the Cotswolds’, the castle rooms and exhibits contain many fascinating treasures, from ancient Roman times to the present day.
Outside, the castle is surrounded by a breathtaking 1,200 acre estate and ten award-winning gardens. The centrepiece is the Queens Garden, so named because four of England’s queens – Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I – once walked upon the original Tudor Parterre.
The Pheasantry at Sudeley houses a collection of 16 rare and endangered species of birds from around the world as part of Sudeley’s programme of breeding and conservation.
Sudeley Castle & Gardens is also the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds – Katherine Parr, the last of Henry VIII’s six wives. Today visitors can explore the beautiful 15th century church where she lies entombed.
The whole family can explore the castle’s fascinating past and enjoy a host of exciting events throughout the year. Children will love scaling the wooden fort and whizzing on the zip wire in the famed Adventure Playground, as well as tackling the 10-piece assault course.