Cotswolds Castles, Romans, Shakespeare, Abbeys, Cathedrals
Cotswolds History - Places of History in the Cotswolds are many and varied. You will find here details of the most popular venues in the region.
The contents cover Blenheim Palace, Warwick and Sudeley Castles, Tudor and Jacobean Manor Houses and Stately Homes. You will also find Shakespeare's birth place and Roman heritage sites including the famous Roman Baths at Bath. The magnificent Cathedrals at Worcester and Gloucester are included as are also the homes of such famous people as Holst, William Morris, and Queen Katherine Parr.
Berkeley Castle is
one of the March Castles, built to keep out the Welsh, and
has all the trappings to match: trip steps designed to make
the enemy stumble during an assault, arrow slits, murder
holes, enormous barred doors, slots where the portcullis
once fell, and worn stones where sentries stood guard. It
is also a fairy tale Castle with its warm pink stone that
glows in soft sunset light. Outside, the battlements drop
some 60' to the Great Lawn below; but inside the Inner Courtyard,
the building is on a human scale, with uneven battlements,
small towers, doors and windows of every shape and size. The
surrounding land would have been flooded for defence.
Home of the Duke of Marlborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. This magnificent palace is located on the outskirts of the small town of Woodstock on the A44 road approximately 20 minutes from Oxford.
Designated a World Heritage site - one of the great buildings of the World with a superb art collection. Extensive 'Capability' Brown landscaped Park. The Marlborough Maze - the worlds largest symbolic hedge maze. Allow at least a good half day for visiting. History of Blenheim Palace.
Broadway Tower is one of England’s outstanding viewpoints and, at 1024 feet (312m) above sea level, it is the second highest point on the Cotswold Ridge.
Built in 1799, it is a perfect example of an eighteenth century Gothic folly from which it is possible to survey an area which includes as many as thirteen counties.
The views encompass the Vales of Evesham and Gloucester and on a clear day you may also see across the Severn Valley and as far as the Welsh Mountains.
Today, the Tower houses fascinating exhibitions connected with its past and the surrounding area. Notable occupants include Sir Thomas Phillipps, renowned printer of his time and Pre-Raphaelite artists including designer, writer and craftsman William Morris, who used the Tower as a country retreat.
The Morris Room is furnished with some of his more famous designs. For more information - Broadway Tower.
the most beautiful castle in all England ... for sheer loveliness
of the combination of water, woods and picturesque buildings.”
A generous tribute from historian Sir Charles Oman in 1898,
and one continued by the noted diarist James Lees-Milne in
a 1989 - "It is still the most romantic house imaginable.
English to the core, as Henry James says. ... Perfection,
what with moat, gatehouse, church, and gorgeous orange and
A more recent accolade came in 2003 in England's
Thousand Best Houses by Sir Simon Jenkins. The author gives
only twenty of the thousand houses five stars - and Broughton
Castle is proud to be one of them.
House is the home of the Lucy family, begun in 1551 and situated
next to the river Avon in the heart of an ancient deer-park
with views to Stratford-upon-Avon a few miles away. Capability Brown landscaped the grounds and Queen Elizabeth 1st stayed. Shakespeare poached deer here. A beautiful house and well worth a visit. Located 5 miles east of Stratford and 6 miles south of Warwick on the north side of the B4086.
Chastleton House is one of England's
finest and most complete Jacobean houses and competed in
1612. The same family occupied the house for nearly 400 years
with little or no modernisation taking place. The rules for
the game of Croquet were written here. Since acquiring the
property the National Trust has concentrated on conserving
it rather than restoring it to pristine condition. Located
near the village of Chastleton a few miles from Moreton-in-Marsh off the A44.
For Places to Stay near Chastleton House see Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh.
The leader of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament was Robert Catesby who owned the Chastleton Estate pre 1605. His original house being subsequently pulled down and replaced with the house you now see.
Chastleton House, nr Moreton-in-Marsh, Oxfordshire GL56 0SU
The remains of one of the largest Roman Villas in the
country and set in a wooded Cotswold Combe. Over 1 mile
of walls survive and there are several fine mosaics, two
bathhouses, hypocausts, a water-shrine and latrine.
Excavated in 1864, the site still has a Victorian feel
to it and the site museum houses objects from the villa.
A 15 minute audiovisual presentation gives visitors an
insight into the history of this fascinating place.
A Chi-Rho bronze stamp was discovered here giving early signs of the acceptance of Christianity by the Romans.
Chavenage House was originally built in 1383, there have been additions and renovations to the property over the centuries. Since Tudor times, only two families have owned Chavenage, the current owner David Lowsley-Williams having inherited the House from his uncle.
The main historical interest centres on the English Civil Wars, when the house was owned by Col. Nathaniel Stephens MP for Gloucestershire. He was persuaded against his better judgement to vote for Charles I’s impeachment and subsequent execution. Soon after the King was beheaded, Col. Stephens died and it is said that his ghostly form was seen leaving Chavenage in a carriage driven by a headless coachman wearing the Royal vestments.
These days, the property is very much a family home and even though it is open to the public on a part-time basis.
This wonderful welcoming Elizabethan home, offers guided tours by the owner or his family. Learn of the two families that have occupied the house since the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st. Hear of the legends and stories (especially the ghosts) – Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Cotswold countryside.
It is thought that a house has stood on the site of Chavenage since the 14th-century, and parts of the present-day house date to the medieval period. In 1564 when Edward Stephens of Eastington purchased the house he started the massive project of a major reconstruction of the site. In 1576 Stephens gutted the medieval building he found, and put on the two wings and the porch to create a manor house of the classic Elizabethan style, as we see today.
The house has numerous Civil War connections including tapestry-lined rooms stayed in by Cromwell and his second-in-command, General Ireton, in 1648.
Like the majority of properties represented by the Historic Houses Association (HHA), Chavenage House is a lived-in family home. It has only been owned by two families during its history, and has been occupied by the Lowsley-Williams family since 1891. It is currently lived in by three generations, David and Rona, their younger daughter Joanna, Joanna’s husband James and their children Henry and Annabel. Less than a cricket ball throw away, in the Garden Cottage, is the eldest of David and Rona’s children George, and in the Laundry Cottage you will find Caroline.
theme of this nationally important museum located in Cirencester is
life in Roman Britain with displays arranged in chronological
sequence through Cotswold history from Prehistory to the
English Civil War. The Corinium Museum houses one of the
finest collections of antiquities from Roman times which
come alive using full-scale reconstructions to re-create
life in Corinium, second largest town in Roman Britain.
beautiful honey-coloured house, home of the Holbech family
for over 300 years, was richly decorated in the mid-18th century.
The interior plaster work is some of the finest in the country.
A superb landscaped garden of the 1740s remains largely unchanged,
containing a broad terrace ornamented with temples.
The Fleece Inn is the quintessential English pub with an orchard garden and a thatched
barn. Set in the village of Bretforton on the edge of the Cotswolds. A unique experience
of old England and the only Inn to be owned by the National Trust.
The Inn is a 15th-century timber-framed medieval farmhouse and is opposite to the
beautiful church of St Leonard's across the village square.
Vale of Evesham Asparagus Festival, May Bank Holiday. Music and morris dancing throughout
the year. Vintage and classic car events during the summer
The Great Barn in Great Coxwell village is the sole surviving part of a thriving 13th-century grange that once provided vital income to Beaulieu Abbey.
It is an impressive reminder of the skills of Gothic carpenters and the wealth and influence of the great monastic orders. William Morris, one of the Barn's most ardent admirers, called it 'unapproachable in its dignity'.
The Barn was built of Cotswold rubble-stone walling, with a Cotswold slate roof. There are several slit windows and on the outside are small, square putlog holes in which mason's poles were placed during construction.
Great Coxwell Barn, Great Coxwell, Faringdon, Oxfordshire
as Northern Europe's sixth most beautiful building by John
Betjeman. Located in the heart of Gloucester city, the architecture varies from the Norman nave with its massive
columns to examples of Romanesque and early perpendicular.
Other features include the glazed fan-vaulted cloisters,
the monks' lavatorium, the medieval glass of the great east
window and the tombs of King Edward II and Robert Duke of
The cathedral was the scene of the only coronation to
a monarch outside of London to Henry III a 9 year old boy in 1216. Also you will
find a Whispering Gallery. Located in the centre of Gloucester city.
Gloucester Cathedral has been used in most of the Harry Potter films as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the setting for most of Harry's adventures.
Richard Earl of Cornwall (brother of Henry III) was in danger of shipwreck and to thank God for his safe delivery, he built a Cistercian Abbey at Hailes. The abbey was founded in 1246. Cistercians always built their abbeys well away from towns (e.g. Fountains, Rievaulx, Tintern etc). Isabel Countess of Gloucester, the widow of Gilbert de Clare, Lord of the Manor of Tewkesbury, had married Richard after a period of mourning for Gilbert. It was a disastrous marriage, and when she died Richard tore her heart out and sent it to the Abbot of Tewkesbury, telling him to bury it at Tewkesbury as it had always been there. It is buried in Gilbert's grave in the presbytery of Tewkesbury Abbey. The remainder of Isabel's body was buried in Beaulieu Abbey.
Richards son Edmund returned from Jerusalem with a phial of blood alleged to be from Jesus Christ. The then Patriach of Jerusalem, later Pope Urban IV attested that the blood was really from Christ)). It attracted huge crowds of pilgrims and the abbey became very rich, but the phial was debunked after the Dissolution and alleged to contain nothing more than duck's blood. The abbey was closed by Henry VIII on Christmas Eve 1539, and its ruins, whilst being owned by the National Trust, are now financed, managed and maintained by English Heritage.
Church was built in 1130. On the walls are the remains of murals
dating from 1300, and a fine St. Cecilia on the Chancel window
jamb, dating from 1290. The rood screen is medieval, and the
pulpit is Jacobean. This is one of the original 3-decker pulpits,
where the Rector would have gone up to the top deck to preach,
so that he could look over the sides of the box pews and see
his congregation. The Commonwealth arrangement in the Chancel
is still retained, with the oak-panelled seats and the Puritanized
style of altar, as the seventeenth century table stands on
the original altar stones. The Church is located next to Hailes
Completed in 1701, this homely William
and Mary-style house is famed for its fine painted ceilings and staircase by master-painter
Sir James Thornhill. The stunning 8-hectare (20-acre) garden, recreated in keeping
with the period of the house, is surrounded by 160 hectares (395 acres) of park, with
beautiful views over the surrounding countryside. Fascinating features within the garden
include an orangery, ice house, pavilions and working mushroom house.
house where the composer Gustav Holst of 'The Planets' was born in 1874. The museum shows
the 'upstairs downstairs' life of Victorian times and includes
a working kitchen, elegant drawing room and nursery as well
as Holst's piano and the story of his life and music. Located
at 4, Clarence Road, Cheltenham.
Kelmscott Manor, a grade 1 Listed Tudor farmhouse adjacent to the River Thames, was built in 1570, with an additional wing added
to the northeast corner in about 1665. The Manor is built of local limestone on the edge of the village of Kelmscott
William Morris , the Father of the Arts & Crafts Movement, chose it as his summer home, signing a joint lease with Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti in 1871. Morris loved the house as a work of true craftsmanship and described it as “Heaven on Earth”. The Manor and its setting inspired Morris to create some of his most famous designs, including the Willow Bough and Strawberry Thief. Today the Manor displays textiles and furniture designed and produced by Morris, his associates and family.
The House and Garden are open every Wednesday and Saturday from April to October (11am to 5pm). Ticket office opens at 10.30am. Last admission to the house 4.30pm. The house has limited capacity and admission is by timed ticket. Some tickets are available to be purchased in advance through our website.
Location: Swindon 16 miles, Oxford 18 miles. For accommodation nearby see Lechlade and Witney.
Situated on the picturesque Sherborne Estate in the Cotswolds, Lodge Park was created in 1634 by John 'Crump' Dutton. Inspired by his passion for gambling and banqueting, it is a unique survival of what would have been called a grandstand, with its deer course and park. It was the home of Charles Dutton, 7th Lord Sherborne, until 1983 when he bequeathed his family's estate to the National Trust.
The Sherborne Estate is 1,650 hectares (4,000 acres) of rolling countryside with views down to the River Windrush. Much of the village of Sherborne is owned by the Trust, including the post office and shop, school and social club. There are walks for all ages around the estate, which includes the restored and working water meadows.
Lodge Park, Aldsworth, nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 3PP
Longleat has worked hard to create a reputation as a major family attraction, with a plethora of theme park activities and the world-famous safari park, but at its core the estate still revolves around the superb Elizabethan country house. The grand front facade of Longleat from the drive
The symmetrical three-story house was built by Sir John Thynne, who employed Robert Smythson (also responsible for Hardwick Hall) and French architect Allan Maynard. The house stands as a splendid focal point in the 900 acres of parkland landscaped by Capability Brown. Thynne finished his grand home in 1580, shortly before his death. Though the exterior maintains its exquisite Tudor facade, the interior has been much altered to follow the changing dictates of comfort and fashion. The great hall still boasts its Tudor hammer beam roof and carved fireplace, but the rest of the furnishings are Victorian. Much of the interior decoration is in opulent Italian style, modelled after estates in Venice and Genoa. There are superb Flemish tapestries, but the collection of fine period furniture is even better. Fine art dating as far back as the 16th century hangs in gilded splendour on the lavishly decorated walls. The original long gallery (90 feet long) has been converted into a saloon. The rear of the house, with gardens in the foreground
Family portraits in the great hall trace the Thynne family back to Tudor times, and more modern murals by the 7th Marquis are on display in the West Wing.
'Oh Gracious and Holy Father, give us wisdom to
perceive you, intelligence to understand you, diligence
to seek you, patience to wait for you, eye to behold
you, a heart to meditate upon you, and a life to
proclaim you, through the power of the Spirit of
Jesus Christ our Lord'
Malmesbury Abbey in the market town of Malmesbury was founded in the 7th-century as a Benedictine Monastery by Aldhelm, a nephew of King Ina of Wessex.
The Abbey was once a major European centre of scholarship and learning. The present building, now about a third of its original size, was consecrated in about 1180 AD. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII (1539), it was sold with all its lands to William Stumpe, a local wealthy clothier, for just over £1500.
Today the Abbey is the Parish Church and dedicated to St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Adhelm and to St. Mary. The Abbey was an important centre for pilgrimage because it is the burial place of St. Aldhelm (first Abbot) and King Athelstan. The Abbey House gardens are especially enchanting and are one of the most beautiful in England.
Website: National Trust 4 Apr–31 May 07 11–5 Wed Thu
2 Jun–31 Oct 07 11–5 Wed Thu Sat Sun
This unusual and atmospheric property was built c.1550 as a Tudor hunting lodge and added to in the 1790s, later converted into a fashionable Georgian home; the house is lived in and has been furnished by the present tenant. Set in 5½ha (14 acres) of wild, romantic garden surrounded by 300ha (700 acres) of unspoilt countryside. It stands high on the edge of a 40ft cliff with outstanding views.
Open-air theatre production.
Ozleworth, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7PZ
A romantic Tudor manor house
near Tetbury was first built
in 1450 standing in it's own valley under the edge of the
Cotswolds with Queen Anne terraced yew garden with medieval
outbuildings. Beautiful walks. Has been described as the most
'loveliest in place in England', 'the epitome of Romance',
'an ensemble that is truly out of this world'.
The Abbey Church of the Holy Cross, Pershore
has been a centre for Christian Worship for over 1300 years. What remains of the Abbey
is the best part: the monk's Quire (which is now the Nave) with its unique ploughshare
vaulting, the combined triforium and celerestory, and the magnificent tower with its
lantern and free-standing ringing platform.
Still one of the finest examples of Norman and Early English architecture in the
country, Pershore Abbey is very much a broken building: Henry VIII destroyed the
nave at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries; the north transept collapsed
in the middle 1600s. But, in spite of its brokenness, the Abbey symbolises a place
where , through the love of Christ, a community can become whole.
For Bed and breakfast accommodation near Pershore Abbey
Open only for Private Functions & Public Performances
Pittville Pump Room is an elegant Grade 1 listed Regency building, and perhaps the most famous example of Regency architecture in Cheltenham – a town that has an abundance of buildings from the Regency period.
A banker named Joseph Pitt commissioned John Forbes, the architect, to design a pump room that was to act as the centrepiece to his vision of a town to rival Cheltenham - a town he would call Pittville (2.5 miles away). The foundation stone was laid on 4 May 1825 and the work completed in 1830. A feature of the design is the columns facing the lawns which are based on those of a Greek temple. Above the colonnade are three statues by Lucius Gahagen, erected in 1827, of the goddess Hygieia, Aesculapius and Hippocrates. Website:www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/pumproom/
Prinknash is not only an Abbey in which some seventeen monks live but a whole complex of buildings spread over an estate of 300 acres. These spacious acres contain the dominating new Abbey, the Pottery, the Workshops, Saint Peter's Grange [the old Abbey] which is now a Retreat and Conference Centre, the Farm, the houses for the tenants, the Bird Park, and the facilities for the recreation and refreshment for over 100,000 visitors each year.
It is a friendly association of Monks and Laity who work in partnership to form a living Community for the benefit of all.
We hope that you will enjoy browsing over these pages and that one day you will visit us to experience the Peace and Tranquillity of our unique surroundings. www.prinknashabbey.org
Ragley is the family home of the
Marquess and Marchioness of Hertford
Robert Hooke designed Ragley Hall in 1680. For some reason the family continued for many years to live in "the Old Hall", so the house was not fully furnished and decorated until the middle of the 18th Century. James Gibbs designed the baroque plaster decoration in the Great Hall in 1750, and in 1780 Wyatt added on the portico and re-decorated the Red Saloon and our two Mauve Rooms, which have remained the same ever since. The House and the 400-acre grounds are seasonally open to the public. The Hall abounds with fine paintings, ceramics and antique furniture. This also includes an adventure playground for children which is beautifully blended into it's current surroundings. This adventure playground give a lot of fun to all ages. It is the site of the Jerwood Sculpture Park, opened July 2004. The Park includes works that won the Jerwood Sculpture Prizes, and the work of Dame Elizabeth Frink, among others.
Rodmarton Manor is the supreme example of a house built and all its furniture made according to Arts and Crafts ideals and was one of the last country houses to be built and furnished in the old traditional style when everything was done by hand with local stone, local timber and local craftsmen.
Ernest Barnsley and the Cotswold group of Craftsmen, who built and furnished the house for Claud and Margaret Biddulph, beginning in 1909, were responsible for the revival of many traditional crafts in the Cotswolds which were in danger of dying out. Over the 20 years that it took to build the house many people were involved in building, woodwork, metalwork, needlework, painting, gardening, all done to a very high standard. Most of the furniture was made specially for the house, either in the Rodmarton workshops, or made by Sidney Barnsley, Edward Barnsley or Peter Waals. Some furniture was bought after the house was built but all pieces are directly or indirectly attributable to the original craftsmen or people who had connections with them such as Harry Davoll, Owen Scrubey, Oliver Morel. There is furniture and pottery painted by Alfred and Louise Powell, appliqué wall hangings designed by Hilda Benjamin (Sexton), leadwork and brass designed by Norman Jewson, and ironwork by Fred and Frank Baldwin and Alfred Bucknell.
There are many
prehistoric remains in the Cotswolds but the most impressive
is probably the Rollright stones. Situated high on an exposed
ridge, this is England's third most important stone circle
after Stonehenge and Avebury and is thought to be about 4000
years old. There are many legends and superstitions associated
with the stones, which are made even more atmospheric by
their bleak and elevated position. Located off the A44 between.
They say you cannot count the same number of stones in the circle more than once.
The stones were given a Dark Sky Discovery award in 2015. The award recognises places that provide good views of the stars, which are accessible to everyone.
Britain in AD 43 the Romans investigated the steaming swampy
spot in the Avon valley that was so revered by the locals.
With Roman efficiency and engineering ingenuity, in the space
of 30-40 years they had drained the Marsh, contained the
water, and built a temple and Britain's first health hydro
for restorative and pleasurable purposes.
Bath owes its origin and ultimately its name to the springs
which produce about five hundred thousand gallons of water
a day at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. During the first century
the Romans turned this backward village into a fashionable
spa dedicated to the goddess Sulis Minerva, from which the
city took its Roman name: Aquae Sulis. Near the hot spring
which feeds the baths there was a temple dedicated to Sulis
Minerva where pilgrims came to pray to that goddess when
seeking cures, before bathing in the sacred waters.
No children under 15. No dogs. See Gardens for more information.
The house, built in 1635 by Sir Robert Dormer, is still in the ownership of the same family. Kent added the wings and the stable block. The south front is almost as Kent left it, but for the replacement of the octagonal glazing with plain glass. This was unfortunately carried out by the architect St. Aubyn when he added the north side of the house in 1876. Kent made alterations to the interior of the house, which retains some 17th century panelling and the original staircases, furniture, pictures and bronzes.
Don't miss the walled garden with its herbaceous borders, small parterre, pigeon house and espalier apple trees. A fine herd of rare Long-Horn cattle are to be seen in the park. Rousham is uncommercial and unspoilt with no tea room and no shop. Bring a picnic, wear comfortable shoes and it is yours for the day.
and exhibition at Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Mary Arden's house (mother) is at Wilmcote, 3 miles from Stratford.
Ann Hatheway's (wife) cottage is at Shottery, 1 mile from Stratford.
Susanna's (daughter) house is Hall's Croft located in the old
part of Stratford. Nash's House (grand-daughter) and New Place
(next door) where Shakespeare spent his last years are located on Chapel Street. Shakespeare is
laid to rest in the Holy Trinity church in Stratford.
A Cotswold manor
house a mile out of Broadway containing
Charles Paget Wade's extraordinary collection of craftsmanship and design, including musical instruments, clocks, toys, bicycles, weavers and spinners tools and Japanese armour. The grounds contain a beautiful 'cottage garden'.
Located in the village of Snowshill, 5 minutes by car from Broadway.
Superb Elizabethan House and Related Manorial Buildings Stanway
house is located near the village of Stanton in the small hamlet of Stanway. It is an outstanding example
of an English Jacobean manor house; built of mellow Cotswold
limestone between 1580 and 1640 by the Tracy's of Stanway.
It is a unique experience visiting this house because of
the friendliness of the resident Lord and Lady Neidpath,
who you may meet, and the intimacy of the closeness of their
possessions on your walkabout.
The ancient manor of Stanway in the Cotswolds was presented
Abbey in the year 715 by two Mercian leaders Odo and
Dodo. It was the first and only remote property owned by
the Abbey until the 12th century when land was acquired in
Dorset. Stanway supported four monks.
In 1533 Richard Tracy, the younger son of Sir William Tracy
of Toddington obtained the lease of the manor from Abbot
Segar. Richard is known to have led the commission that dissolved
Hailes Abbey and it was around this time that he was able
to purchase the freehold to Stanway. It was his son Paul
who rebuilt the house incorporating some of the early Tudor
house in it. This work started in about 1580. Paul Tracy
was created Baronet in 1611 and died in 1620. His son, Sir
Richard Tracy, continued building and it was he who had the
magnificent gatehouse erected in 1630. He died however in
1637. The house was completed around 1640 by Sir Paul’s
grandson Sir Humphrey Tracy. Sir Humphrey supported the King
during the Civil War and for this he had to pay heavily in
compensation to stop his property being confiscated. He died
in 1651 without issue so the title and property was inherited
by his brother Richard who also died without issue in 1666
with everything passing to the younger brother John. When
Sir John died in 1677 the Stanway line came to an end and
the property passed to Ferdinando Tracy the second son John
3rd Viscount Tracy of Toddington.
The Tracy line continued at Stanway until 1817 when it was
inherited by Francis Charteris the 8th Earl of Wemyss and
4th Earl of March the son of Francis Charteris and his wife
Susan (nee Tracy-Keck) who was the great granddaughter of
Ferdinando Tracy. The present resident is Lord Neidpath a
direct descendant of Francis Charteris. Thus the property
remained in the same family for over 450 years.
The house is built of soft mellow yellow stone under a stone
roof. The gabled west front is the Elizabethan and oldest
part of the house and includes the hall. The great hall is
extraordinarily light and airy having an enormous full height
bay window and further bays at the south end. Manorial courts
were held here up until about 1800 and the raised dais at
one end is still in place. The south front is from the Stuart
period and contains all the principal rooms. A short flight
of stairs leads from the hall into the drawing room in which
are a pair of unique ‘Chinese Chippendale’ day
beds from about 1760 which came from the Wemyss seat at Amisfield
House in East Lothian, Scotland. Further along is the ‘Elcho’ Lobby
followed by ascending stairs to the library passage from
which an oak staircase leads to the upper storey. Off the
passage is the old library, which has only one window and
is the warmest room in the house in the winter. At the end
of the passage is the ‘Elcho’ sitting room, very
comfortable and lived in. The other wings have been demolished
leaving the house with an ‘L’ plan.
In the garden, up the hill to the rear is a canal above
that is a pyramid built by Robert Tracy in 1750 honouring
his father John Tracy who died in 1735. A cascade, which
has been restored over the last few years, runs from here
to the canal where a 70ft fountain spouts into the air.
The gatehouse is a gem, one of the best pieces of architecture
in the Cotswolds. It was built for Sir Richard Tracy in 1630.
It is unusually positioned at right angles to the house,
presumably because the church was in the way in front of
the house. The lodges, either side of the gateway, have narrow
bay widows and the whole is topped by shaped gables crowned
with Tracy scallop shells. The archway has fluted columns
either side. It is a very attractive building.
The tithe barn is medieval built around 1370 for Tewkesbury
Abbey. It has a stone roof supported by massive base
cruck timbers. Apart from the main entrances it has a small
13th century stone doorway. It is a fine building and is
now used for events and as a theatre.
The church of St. Peter is basically 12th century but was drastically
over-restored by the Victorians. This group of buildings make a superb
sight in their idyllic setting.
Stanway House is a popular Filming location for many Cinema and TV films including The Libertine (August 2004), Vanity Fair ( May 2004), The Wyvern Mysteries (1999), The Buccaneers (1994), and Emma TV dramatisation.
Located 7 minutes by car from Broadway in the village of Stanway next to the village of Stanton.
Once the property of King Ethelred the Unready, later home of Queen Katherine Parr and garrison headquarters of Prince Rupert during the Civil War. The castle houses an impressive collection of furniture and paintings.
Award winning gardens and medieval ruins surround Sudeley Castle, which sits nestled in the Cotswold Hills on the edge of the historic town of Winchcombe off the B4632.
Set against the backdrop of the Cotswolds hills in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sudeley Castle & Gardens has played an important role in England’s history, boasting royal connections that stretch back over 1,000 years.
Inside, the castle contains many fascinating treasures from ancient Roman times to the present day. Outside, the castle is surrounded by award-winning gardens and a breathtaking 1,200 acre estate.
Located only eight miles from the picturesque Cheltenham, Sudeley Castle & Gardens is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within the grounds. The last of Henry VIII’s six wives, Katherine Parr lived and died in the castle. She is now entombed in a beautiful 15th century church found within the award-winning gardens.
The ‘20 Treasures of Sudeley’ features a collection of artefacts and works of art of great historical importance which include Katherine Parr’s love letters, lacework reputedly made by Anne Boleyn, bed hangings made for Marie Antoinette and Charles I’s personal beer jugs.
Sudeley Castle’s magnificent gardens are world-renowned, providing variety and colour from spring through to autumn. The centrepiece is the Queens Garden, so named because four of England’s queens – Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I – once admired the hundreds of varieties of roses found in the garden.
St Mary’s Church is bordered by the White Garden, rich with peonies, clematis, roses and tulips, where Katherine Parr and her companion, Lady Jane Grey would have entered the church for daily prayers.
The Knot Garden is based on a dress pattern worn by Elizabeth I in a portrait which hangs in the castle and a tranquil carp pond is set opposite the ruins of the 15th century Tithe Barn.
A pheasantry, adventure playground with picnic area, gift shop and café in brand new visitor centre, and a further café in the banqueting hall complete the perfect day out.
The compact Manor House - not a demanding marathon down endless corridors but a gentle stroll through three centuries of English history in the company of a friendly and informative guide.
Our wonderful Tudor to Georgian furniture and artefacts, displayed in their natural
settings with only the most delicate behind glass.
The largest UK collection of George Washington memorabilia demonstrating the British
contribution to the origins of the USA with a separate exhibition on George's life
and career in the United States.
Our additional facilities, a buttery at which to refresh yourself with good fare,
a shop from which to take away some souvenirs, picnic areas, a pleasant garden to
stroll through and the National Garden of the Herb Society
+44 (0)1295 760205
The Abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Tewkesbury in the English county of Gloucestershire is the second largest parish church in the country and a former Benedictine monastery.
Tewkesbury Abbey (officially the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Tewkesbury) is a large and magnificent parish church in a small market town just 10 miles north of Gloucester.
Built in the early 1100s, the abbey church boasts the largest Norman tower in the world and the largest exterior arch in Britain. Its interior is a breathtaking combination of stout Norman pillars and round arches with Decorated Gothic lierne vaulting and gilded bosses.
The Dissolution of the Monasteries (1538-41) meant the destruction of the monastic buildings of Tewkesbury Abbey in 1539, but the town saved the church by paying King Henry VIII £459 for the property. Henry also sold eight bells to the parish for £142 (most monastic bells elsewhere were melted down to make cannons for his warships).
Tewkesbury Abbey Opening Times
Sundays: 7.30 am to 7.00 pm
Weekdays and Saturdays: 7.30 am to 6.00 pm in the summer, 7.30 am to 5.30 pm in the winter.
One of the National Trust's most important
art collections can be found in this house, built in 1695 of mellow local stone,
purchased and remodelled in 1927–29 by Walter Samuel, 2nd Viscount Bearsted,
who was Chairman of Shell, 1921–46, and son of the company's founder. Upton
contains his outstanding collection of English and continental Old Master paintings
over three floors, including works by Hogarth, Stubbs, Romney, Canaletto, Brueghel
and El Greco; Brussels tapestries; French Sèvres porcelain; Chelsea and Derby
figures and 18th-century furniture.
The garden is very fine, with
lawns, terraces, orchard, herbaceous borders, kitchen garden, ornamental pools and
an interesting 1930s water garden, together with the National Collection of Asters.
Upton House near Banbury, Warwickshire OX15 6HT
Telephone: 01295 670266
Admission by timed ticket on Bank Hols,
but visitors may then stay until 5 if they wish. Open Good Fri: house 12–5, garden,
restaurant & shop
11–5. House open 12–1 by guided tour only 3 March–31 Oct. Ground
floor only in house 3 Nov–16 Dec. Last admission 30mins before closing
Ancestral home of
the Earls of Warwick and the 'King Maker'. Warwick Castle is
the finest medieval castle in England dating back to the days
of William the Conqueror and it brings to life 1000 years of
history. Many attractions including periodic displays of swordmanship,
jousting, and birds of prey.
Allow a full day for visiting. Located in the centre of the City
Woodchester Mansion is an architectural
masterpiece of the Victorian age abandoned by its builders before it could be completed.
It has been virtually untouched by time since the mid-1870s, and today offers a unique
opportunity to tour and explore a Gothic building in mid-assembly.
The Mansion is hidden in a secluded 400-acre landscape park of great beauty, sheltering
an abundance of wildlife and rare-breed grazing stock. Enchanting woodland walks
snake around its five man-made lakes.
The Mansion and its park are reputed to be haunted and regular events are held throughout
the year for those who want to hunt our ghosts.
Facilities for visitors to the Mansion include a Tea Room, serving drinks, cakes
and snacks, and a Gift Shop. Tours of the house are conducted by guides from the
Woodchester Mansion Trust's Volunteers. The Park, owned by The National Trust, is
open to all.
Woodchester Mansion is on the edge of the
Cotswold escarpment, 15 miles south of Gloucester and 25 miles north of Bristol.
The entrance to the Mansion is close to the village of Nympsfield and the Coaley Peak
viewing point on the B4066 between Stroud and Dursley.
The nearest motorway junctions are J14 on the M5 and J18 on the M4.
Car parking is free. The Mansion is 1 mile from the car park. A free mini-bus service
runs regularly on open days between the car park and the house.
Woodchester Park is a beautiful, secluded valley near Stroud in the Cotswolds.
The valley contains the remains of an 18th- and 19th-century landscape park, Woodchester
mansion and a chain of five lakes fringed by woodland and pasture. Much of the valley
is wooded with paths crisscrossing the valley sides, offering unexpected and spectacular
views of the valley and mansion.
Most of Woodchester Park is owned by the National Trust, who bought it in 1994, to protect and preserve its unique landscape. The Mansion and its immediate surroundings are owned by Stroud District Council and leased to the Woodchester Mansion Trust.
Woodchester Park, Stonehouse, Nympsfield, nr Stroud, Gloucestershire GL10 3TS
was the home of a thriving community of monks from AD961 for
nearly 600 years. They followed the Rule of St. Benedict, in
common with the monasteries in many parts of Europe. These religious
houses kept alive not only the faith but also the tradition
of classical learning during the Dark Ages which followed the
collapse of the Roman Empire. King John is entombed here. Located
in the centre of the city of Worcester.