The Queen of the Cotswolds: Sudeley Castle

St. Mary’s Church at Sudeley Castle (Oct. 2011).

Sudeley Castle, in Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, is the private home of Lord and Lady Ashcombe, Henry and Mollie Dent-Brocklehurst, and their respective families. (Some people in England really do still live in castles!). Sudeley Castle is also the home of Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Queen Katherine Parr, who lived in the Castle and is now buried on-site in the chapel of St. Mary’s Church. Notable visitors to the Castle include Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, and Anne Boleyn.

Although tours are available to view the Castle’s private apartments, none are available on the weekend, which is when we visited. However, Sudeley Castle is actually well-known for its gardens, which are said to be among the very best in England. October is not necessarily the best time to view a garden, because much is not in bloom, but we thought the grounds were lovely, nonetheless.

At the Castle, we did as might be expected; we walked the loop through the Castle’s grounds in the reverse direction. After all, wouldn’t it be better to end the day with the pièce de résistance, a view of the Castle itself? Maybe not for everyone, but I guess that’s just how we roll.

Our first stop was the Pheasantry, which contained far more pheasants in kind and number than we’d ever expected. These birds were all in large enclosures, but peacocks roamed freely.

At least I’m assuming this is a peacock. I’m not much of a birder and he didn’t spread his tail, so I’m guessing here.

We next passed into the Secret Garden…

where we met this little guy. I wonder what he’s thinking (if a statue could think, of course).

We also had a beautiful view of St. Mary’s Church and the Castle beyond.

Can you imagine that real queens actually strolled and rested within this, the Queens Garden? In season, this garden boasts blooms from hundreds of varieties of old-fashioned roses. Even without all of its rose blossoms, the garden with its tinkling fountain was stroll- and rest-worthy (at least for us among the unwashed masses).

Looking beyond the corner of the Queens Garden, we enjoyed another nice view of St. Mary’s Church and the Castle beyond.

Here, manicure ends and wild abandon begins.

Oops! I guess a little bit of wild abandon crept in. Doesn’t that often seem to happen in castles? At least it seems to in the movies.

Not old-fashioned, pedigreed roses, but lovely in their own right.

The Banqueting Hall Ruins above the Knot Garden.

And one final view of Sudeley Castle beyond the Carp Pond.


About satnavandcider

An American expat living in England, exploring the United Kingdom and Europe through five senses and a camera lens.
This entry was posted in All Posts, Buildings, Cotswolds, Destinations, Flowers, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Scenic, United Kingdom and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Queen of the Cotswolds: Sudeley Castle

  1. Pingback: The Long and the High of It | Sat Nav and Cider

  2. Pingback: Dent’s Terrace | Sat Nav and Cider

  3. Pingback: Autumn View of Sudeley Castle | Sat Nav and Cider

  4. Heyjude says:

    I had to pop in and have a look at Sudeley as I didn’t get to visit it on my trip to the Cotswolds in June 2013. Definitely on the cards for this year though. Lovely photos – I adore secret gardens, and the knot garden looks lovely. Just one thing though, those are not roses, they are cosmos – gorgeous daisy-like flowers that bloom all through the summer, and yes, that is a peacock 🙂
    Jude xx

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