Suddenly Sudeley

It reminded me of Downton Abbey in some respects.  Elizabeth, Lady Ashcombe and her family have resided in Sudeley Castle for more than 50 years.  Like Cora and Robert Crawley, Lord and Lady Ashcombe maintained a private apartment here.    Lord Ashcombe, Camilla Parker-Bowles uncle, died in 2013.   This Lord and Lady were largely responsible for turning Sudeley into a notable tourist attraction within walking distance of the very British town of Winchcombe, if you choose to get there on foot like Ruth & I did.  It’s different from Downton in it emphasis on royal connections.  Sudeley was the home of Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s 6th and final wife, and there is an impressive list of royal visitors, including many kings, seen on any tour.


There is a sculpture of Goda, the elephant, near the main entrance.  Made from ancient pieces of driftwood, Goda is named for Ethelred’s daughter.  Ethelred’s nickname was The Unready, and he was Sudeley’s 1st owner in the 11th century.  Ralph Boteler created the current castle’s design in 1442.  Many of the exhibit rooms have been newly refurbished by the current owner, and Lady Ashcombe has made sure that Sudeley was included in the TV series “Castle Ghosts of England” along with The Tower of London.   Henry VIII was a frequent visitor and not just with his last wife, who survived him by only 1 year.   He stayed here with #2, Anne Boleyn.  Oliver Cromwell besieged Sudeley twice.

After looking at the many exhibits that included the current residents with a strange pet and lots about the 6 wives, Ruth and I drifted outside to see the 14 acres of restored gardens. There are 10 of them, but the most celebrated and unusual is Knot. A Knot Garden was popular in the Tudor Era when Queen Elizabeth I was spending a lot of time here.  This particular garden celebrates one of Elizabeths’s outfits by recreating a knot in her dress.

Catherine Parr was laid to rest in St. Marys Church at Sudeley, but her tomb’s exact location was lost until 1782 when some lady sightseers figured out where it was.

Rightfully called one of the Cotswold’s showplaces, Sudeley Castle celebrates royal connections that go back 1,000 years.



About roads-rus

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'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 roads-rus

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