Destination Winchcombe

Winchcombe was once the capital of the Anglo-Saxon Mercia.   Today it’s a quiet, varied town in the Cotswolds with slightly less than 5,000 residents that is definitely worth seeing.  A bit too large to be called a village, it has 3 must-see attractions: St. Peter’s Church, Sudeley Castle and the town itself, which is eminently strollable.  The church is on the main street, which changes names at least 4 times as it passes through town, as is a lively visitors center.  The castle is up a hill but a relatively easy and delightful walk from town.   There are 2 other attractions that largely depend on your interests.  The town museum’s specialty is an international collection of police uniforms and equipment.  The Gloucestershire and Warwickshire steam railway is less than a mile from Winchcombe and promises a 25-mile intro to The Cotswolds.  Getting to Winchcombe from several nearby towns is easy.  Ruth and I traveled there from Cheltenham via a local bus and returned after dinner in a historic pub.

St. Peter’s is quite ancient looking.  There has been a church on this site since about the 9th century.  The current one was built between 1452 an 1462 and has some unique features, like musket holes from the 1643 Civil War.  A female Shakespeare relative was buried in its cemetery.  They are not called gargoyles, but there are more than 3 dozen “groteques” decorating St. Peter’s exterior.  Their identities are often unknown, but many appear to have been town citizens in the 15th century, like the man wearing a fetching top hat.  The work of 60 different masons has been documented on the inside and outside of this church, and about 1/3 of them helped to construct Sudeley Castle.  

St. Peter’s interior is worth seeing too.  The most interesting stained glass window depicts a ship and was commissioned by a 19th century naval chaplain.  It relates a famous biblical story from the New Testament involving Jesus Christ.

Sudeley is the only private castle in England that has a queen buried on its grounds.  She was Katherine Parr, the 6th and last wife of Henry VIII.  Seeing her home and Winchcome are both good ideas.

Hank

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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