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Historic England Research Records

Sudeley Castle

Hob Uid: 327820
Location :
Gloucestershire
Tewkesbury
Sudeley
Grid Ref : SP0310027600
Summary : Mid 15th century castle, possibly on the site of a Stephanic castle, rebuilt in the late 15th century and altered circa 1572. It fell into a period of disuse and ruin after 1649. It was restored as a country house in 1837-40 and 1868-89. Further improvements took place in 1901-07 and in the 1930s. 16th century formal garden remains can be seen on aerial photographs to the south and east of the castle.
More information : (SP 031276) Sudeley Castle (AT) (1)

Re-built in the reign of Henry VI on the site of a Norman castle dating from the reign of Stephen. It is very unlikely that any of the earlier castle now remains (2), although in 1854 Sir Gilbert Scott thought there were indications of it below an apartment known as Katherine Parr's lodging (3). The 15th century castle probably consisted of two courtyards surrounded by a moat, all traces of which were obliterated in the 19th century. It was extensively altered and added to during the 16th century, but suffered severely in the Civil War, and was later neglected and used for building material until the 19th century, since when it has been gradually restored(2). (2-3)

Sudeley Castle is very well maintained, and as depicted in Godfrey's plan (2); it is now open to the general public. Published 1;2500 survey revised. See photos. (4)

Sudeley Castle, Grade 1. (5)

Sudeley Castle mid 15th c, though manor house on this site since Saxon times. Castle rebuilt later 15th c, altered c 1572 and slighted 1649. Major restoration and additions 1837-40 and again John D Wyatt 1863-89. Lesser improvements 1901-07 and again 1930s by W H Godfrey. Extensive modernisation to interior and parts of exterior carried out by the present family. Also RG listed Grade II*. (6)

Sir Ralph Boteler (1396-1473), Lord Sudeley, was responsible for building Sudeley Castle. In 1441 he returned from France and in 1443 he succeeded Cromwell as Treasurer. He is likely to have started building his castle on his return. The castle was crenellated in 1458 without a license. Boteler was forced to sell to the crown, Edward IV in 1469. The ornate suite on the east side of the building is usually attributed to Richard, Earle of Gloucestershire during his ownership (1469-78) (7-8)

After the castle finished being crown property it passed through a number of different owners and became uninhabitable. It was William and John Dent who started rehabitation of the castle and the work was completed for J H Dent-Broklehurst C1930-36 (9)

Sudeley Castle. Former Castle, now Country House. Mid 15thc for Ralph Boteler, late C15 for Richard III, much altered c1572 for Lord Chandos. Last home of Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's widow; castle slighted 1649, purchased by Dents and restored by them (10)

The earthwork remains of a 16th century garden at Sudeley Castle are visible on aerial photographs. Some of this complex of earthworks had been surveyed but attributed as remains of an earlier manor house (SP 02 NW 13).

The earthworks to the east of the castle are partially obscured by shadow from the trees planted there so what can be seen from aerial photographs may not be all that survives. What can be made out are the remains of a parterre centred on SP 0330 2765 with possible traces of another to the west at SP 0325 2765. These are bounded on the northern side by a raised walkway ending at a prospect mound, previously attributed to a spoil heap associated with earlier excavations.

There are further earthworks within the same field to the north and south and further south within The Home Parks. A series of banks and channels can be seen running east-west at the northern edge of the park. At the western end of this group are further banks and channels aligned north-south.

These channels may have carried water either south to the stream there or west to Beesmoor Brook. Earthworks to the east of Beesmoor Brook at SP 0304 2742 may be the remains of a pond. A dam was built across Beesmoor Brook to create a lake, possibly during the 15th century and the earthwork seen at SP 0277 2768 may be the remains of this dam.(12)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1954
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Sudeley Castle (Mary Dent-Brocklehurst) Illust Historical plan by W H Godfrey)
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Source Number : 12
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR SP 0327/45 (23333/22) 17-DEC-2003
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Annals of Winchcombe & Sudeley 1877 77 Illust (E Dent)
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JWS 10-JUL-73
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Source Number : 5
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Cheltenham Rural District. June 1948
Page(s) : 36
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Source Number : 6
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Gloucestershire
Page(s) :
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Vol(s) : Part 16
Source Number : 7
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 334-35
Figs. :
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Vol(s) : 142, 1985
Source Number : 8
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Platt C. 1984. Medieval Britain from the Air. 187
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Source Number : 9
Source : Gloucestershire : the Cotswolds
Source details :
Page(s) : 438-40
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Source Number : 10
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Tewkesbury Glos 1987
Page(s) : 126-27
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant 1139-1144
Monument End Date : 1144
Monument Start Date : 1139
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Mid C15 construction
Monument End Date : 1466
Monument Start Date : 1433
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Rebuilt late C15
Monument End Date : 1499
Monument Start Date : 1467
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Altered c1572
Monument End Date : 1582
Monument Start Date : 1562
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Slighted 1743-1644
Monument End Date : 1644
Monument Start Date : 1643
Monument Type : Quadrangular Castle
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Restored in 1837-40
Monument End Date : 1840
Monument Start Date : 1837
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Restored in 1863-89
Monument End Date : 1889
Monument Start Date : 1863
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Improved in 1901-7
Monument End Date : 1907
Monument Start Date : 1901
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Improved in the 1930s
Monument End Date : 1939
Monument Start Date : 1930
Monument Type : Country House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 134929
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 02 NW 12
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 858745
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 02 NW 12
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1973-07-10
End Date : 1973-07-10
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: GLOUCESTERSHIRE NMP (NORTH COTSWOLDS AND FOREST OF DEAN)
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31