The House from "Morris's Views of Seats," circa 1875.
St. Mary's Church from the Garden
St. Mary's Church
Katherine Parr's tomb in St. Mary's Church
Stained glass window in St. Mary's Church with images of Katherine Parr and Henry VIII
Earlier Houses: There was 12th century castle on the site of the current house.
Built / Designed For: Ralph Boteler
House & Family History: Sudeley Castle has a royal history spanning 1,000 years. The early Sudeley was owned by King Ethelred the Unready. The Castle was later the home of Catherine Parr, following her marriage to Sir Thomas Seymour; she later used Sudeley as her palace when she became Queen Catherine, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII (she is buried in the Castle church). Notable visitors to Sudeley have included King Henry VIII, Ann Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Elizabeth I, and King Charles I. Charles I's nephew, Prince Rupert of the Rhine, used the House as his headquarters in the Civil War; during the ensuing fight Cromwell's troops almost destroyed Sudeley and the House lay abandoned and derelict for 200 years. King George III was one of many who visited Sudeley in the 18th century, attracted to its romantic, ruinous situation. In 1837 Sudeley was purchased by John and William Dent, who made their fortune with the Worcestershire glove-making company of the same name. They began an ambitious restoration program that was continued by their nephew, John Coucher Dent, who inherited the Castle in 1855. Many of the interiors were outfitted with pieces purchased at the Strawberry Hill sale, when the furnishings from Horace Walpole's house were sold.
Collections: Sudeley has an outstanding paintings collection, including pictures by Turner, Van Dyck, and Rubens. The House also contains a good collection of Civil War memorabilia. Nicolas Poussin's "Triumph of Pan" was sold to the National Gallery in 1982-83. John Constable's "The Lock," dated 1824, was sold to the Thyssen Foundation, Lugano, Switzerland, on January of 1991 for £10,927,000. Poussin's "Landscape with a Calm," 1650-51, considered one of the artist's purest landscapes, was sold in 1997 to the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.
Comments: Sudeley is considered one of England's greatest historic houses.
Garden & Outbuildings: The Castle is set among eight gardens and won the HHA/Christie's Garden of the Year award in 1996.
Chapel & Church: St. Mary's Church, on the grounds of the Castle, was ruined during the Civil War and restored between 1855 and 1863 by the Dent family. Queen Catherine Parr (the sixth, and last, wife of Henry VIII) is entombed in the Church, the only English queen to be buried on private land.
Architect: Walter Hindes GodfreyDate: 1930s
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. I, p. 25, 1852.
Country Life: LXXXVIII, 454, 500, 1940.
Title: J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Antiquities Collection, The
Year Published: 2002
Reference: pg. 127
Publisher: Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust
Book Type: Softback
Title: Nicolas Poussin
Author: M├®rot, Alain
Year Published: 1990
Reference: pg. 162
Publisher: New York: Abbeville Press
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
Author: Sayer, Michael
Year Published: 1993
Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Grade II
Current Seat / Home of: Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe
Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: King Ethelred the Unready, 11th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Ralph Boteler, 15th century. John Brydges, 1st Baron Chandos, 16th century. Queen Catherine Parr, 16th century. William Dent, early 19th century; John Coucher Dent, mid-19th century; Geoffrey Mark Dent-Brocklehurst, until 1972.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home