History blooms at Sudeley Castle

Once home to Henry XVIII's sixth wife, Catherine Parr, Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire is a fabulous mix of towers, turrets and terraces, and perfect for a day out in high summer or early autumn
pause
Royal connections at Sudeley go back a thousand years, and the castle was once the home of Catherine Parr, the only surviving wife of Henry VIII. The castle was, however, destroyed by Oliver Cromwell's Roundheads during the Civil War, and became a much-visited picturesque ruin.

In 1837, the castle was bought by the famous glove-making Dent family and was gradually restored to its present glories.

Summer events at the castle



The highlight of an ongoing programme of summer events is Reconstruction #2, a major outdoor show of fine contemporary sculpture by leading modern artists. It includes 11 new commissions and follows on from a successful show last year, and continues until 31 October.

Other outdoor attractions include the Knot Garden, a Victorian kitchen garden, a secret garden, a garden within the ruins of the old Tudor banqueting hall, and a wildflower walk and meadow.

Tudor Queens at Sudeley
Tudor Queens at Sudeley
Also on view is The Six Wives of Henry VIII, an exhibition of original Tudor costumes associated with David Starkey's TV series of the same name, and celebrating Sudeley Castle's many Tudor royal connections - King Henry VIII himself owned the castle throughout his reign.

Threads of Time is another special exhibition, showcasing textile techniques spanning 400 years.

On the weekend of 11 and 12 August, Battle! is a two-day jousting event, which includes the Sealed Knot's celebrated Civil War encampment within the castle grounds.

On each evening at 7.30pm is a performance of As You Like It, by the Festival Players (Tickets cost £12.50, concessions, £10.50, children, £9; to book, call 01242 602308; bring your own seating, and picnic in the grounds from 6pm).

An exhibit from 'Reconstruction #2' in the Secret Garden by the Chapel
© Jim Lambie
An exhibit from 'Reconstruction #2' in the Secret Garden by the Chapel
The castle will take part in National Garden Schemes Day on Sunday 9 September, with an outdoor performance of Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility at 7pm. (Tickets costs £12, concessions, £10, family ticket with up to four children, £40; to book, call 01242 602308; bring your own seating, and picnic in the grounds from 6pm).

A Creepy Crawly Roadshow will be on Sunday 28 October from 11am to 4pm, featuring all kinds of reptiles and amphibians (including a python, tarantula, scorpion, boa constrictor and bullfrog) - with a chance to get up close and personal.

Entrance to Sudeley Castle grounds, garden and exhibitions costs £7.20, concessions, £6.20, children, £4.20, family ticket, £20.80.

Exclusive "connoisseur tours" of the interior take place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10.30 and 5pm, and cost £15
(no booking needed).

Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire (01242 604244
www.sudeleycastle.co.uk).

Follow us on Twitter @HomesProperty and Facebook

Comments