The Ruins Garden is within the walls of the parts of the Castle that were destroyed in the Civil War. There are intersting stone seats where you can sit and absorb the beauty. You enter through a door within a small tower at the corner of the wall. The headphone tour will lead you into this garden.
The Secret Garden was built by the current owners to celebrate their wedding in 1979. You walk through the garden wall and enter a wonderful display of Mediterranean foliage. It was in full bloom when we were there.
The Rose Garden is amazing. Even when I was here 2 years ago in December there were roses on the bushes, I couldn't believe it. In September naturally they were even more spectacular.
There is a Tudor Knot Garden in an interior courtyard that can be reached from the Ruin Garden.
The flowers around the Chapel are all white. There are roses and lots of other varieties.It makes an outstanding display.
There are trellis' with a crown on top that you can walk through covered in a splendid display of roses and terraces that you can walk on the outside of the garden to enjoy it from every angle.
The Chapel is a peaceful haven amid all this floral beauty. It contains a lovely tomb effigy of Katherine Parr. It is not the original, it was done in 1959. What always amazes me is that there were fresh flowers laid on the grave by fans of her's, even after over 400 years.
Come here prepared to be enchanted and a little intrigued as well. Several years ago I took a picture in the ruins which has a very usual splash of light in it. There are rumors of a ghost or two. Did I capture one? Maybe!!
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October 24, 2001
From journal The Charming Cotswolds
Katherine's is a tragic story, after 3 arranged marriages she finally married the man she loved only to die after a difficult childbirth. Thomas didn't even stay for her funeral, he rushed off to see Princess Elizabeth who he had hopes of seducing and marrying leaving Lady Jane Grey as the chief mourner. But that is another story.
Sudeley itself was turned into a ruin during the Civil War. All the important rooms in the castle were destroyed so that it could never be used as a military base again. The rent room which is the first room you enter, show a model of what the Castle looked like before the Civil War.
The North Hall has several interesting pictures including a Van Dyke and also a unique collection of wax portraits. There is also a letter signed by Charles I and a waistcoat that Emma Dent believed belonged to Charles I.
The next 2 rooms deal with Emma Dent's time at Sudeley and there are 2 portraits of her there. It was through her that the marvelous art collection came into the Dent family.
After the Oak Lobby you travel down a hallway with several small bedrooms, one the Rupert bedroom has a Charles I mourning ring and Oliver Cromwell's inkwell.
In the Chandos Bedroom they are several interesting diplays including one on Alice Keppel (King Edward VII mistress and great grandmother of Camilla Parker Bowles) she is the great grandmother of the current Lord Ascroft.
On the Tutor Staircase are the love letters I mentioned before, some important miniatures, and portraits of Thomas Seymour and his brother Edward , The Lord Protector.
Katherine Parr's nursery is a sadly poignant room. She never got to enjoy her baby daughter and nothing is known of the little girls fate. This room is in the oldest part of the house. In one of the rooms there is a wall of miniture paintings and a case with a lock of her hair and a tooth and a fragment of the dress she was buried in. In 1792 her tomb was opened.
There is a headphone tour which is excellent. It takes you into the ruins and the gardens as well as the chapel.
Don't miss the really great gift shop.
The house is open April-October and is covered on the Great British Heritage Pass. The store is open in December as are the gardens and chapel.