This last week I’ve been touring the country, visiting Tudor castles, houses and abbeys, as research for my new book. It’s been absolutely splendid. In the end, I managed to visit:
- Arundel Castle, West Sussex – home to the Howard family
- Sherborne Castle, Dorset – historically home to Sir Walter Ralegh
- Sandford Orcas Manor – a little gem of a Tudor house recommended by a guide at Sherborne
- Glastonbury Tor and Abbey, Somerset
- Buckland Abbey, Devon – home to Sir Francis Drake
- Barrington Court, Somerset
- Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire – half-built by Edward Stafford, the third Duke of Buckingham, who was executed as a traitor in 1521
- Hailes Abbey, Gloucestershire
- Little Sodbury Manor, Gloucestershire – from the outside as it’s privately owned. Where WilliamTyndale started writing his English translation of the New Testament
- Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire – chiefly interesting to me as the resting place of Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Kateryn Parr
- Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire – owned by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Elizabeth I’s great love
- Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire – where Mary, Queen of Scotswas imprisoned four times and the Babington plot was devised, and where I was met by the wonderful curator, Lesley Smith
- Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire – incredible house built by ‘Bess of Hardwick’, Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury
- Burghley House, Lincolnshire – Elizabethan mansion built by Sir William Cecil, Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I’s chief minister and Lord High Treasurer. I was given a tour of the Inner Court by head guide, Carolyn Crookall.
- Peterborough Cathedral, Cambridgeshire – where Katherine of Aragon is entombed
As well as great historical stories, and moments when the past seemed almost tangible, the trip made me think anew about heritage and historic sites. More about that – and more photos – another day.
For now, I just want to say how grateful I am to everyone who helped me along the way!