Arundel Castle: Tudor Day Trips From London
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Arundel Castle: Tudor Day Trips From London

We visit Arundel Castle, a historic castle and stately home located in the town of Arundel in West Sussex, England. It is one of the country’s most iconic and well-preserved medieval castles, boasting a rich history that spans over a thousand years. Arundel Castle has been the ancestral seat of the Howard family, the Dukes of Norfolk, since the sixteenth century. Today, Arundel Castle is open to the public.

Hever Castle: Tudor Day Trips From London.
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Hever Castle: Tudor Day Trips From London.

Today, Hever Castle is a quintessential fortified medieval manor house, nestled in the bottom of an idyllic, gently sloping valley. The setting makes the picture-perfect English postcard; sculpted lawns with pretty lily-covered moats; all around you, immaculately tended flower and herb gardens abound. We discover how the castle looked in Anne Boleyn’s day as we travel back to the sixteenth century…

The 1502 Progress: Woolaston, Gloucestershire
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The 1502 Progress: Woolaston, Gloucestershire

On 28 August, the Queen’s Chamber Books for Elizabeth of York records, ‘Itm the same day to the mariners that conveyed the Quenes grace over the Severn besides Chepstowe’. The temptation is to immediately conclude that a ferry conducted the King and Queen across the River Severn into England at the point where the current bridge spans the river, close to the foot of Chepstow Castle, where the royal couple had been lodged. While this might be true, further close inspection of a later entry in the Chamber Book (dated 27 September) clarifies that the Queen moved from Chepstow to ‘Walstone’ before arriving at the next stop: Berkeley Castle.

This entry is a retrospective payment made to ‘Robert Alyn for his costes prepayring logging for the Quene from Ragland to Chepstowe by the space of twoo dayes, from Chepstowe to Walstone, ij dayes, from Walstone to Berkeley, ij dayes.’…

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St David’s Cathedral, St David’s Pembrokeshire.
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St David’s Cathedral, St David’s Pembrokeshire.

In this episode, I visit St David’s in Wales to commemorate St David’s Day on March 1. The cathedral dates back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and is the most important religious site in Wales. Pilgrims have visited the cathedral for centuries, and the building boasts impressive architectural features, including a stunning painted ceiling, examples of fan vaulting, the aforementioned Bishop’s Palace ruins, and the medieval cloister.

The 1502 Progress: Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire
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The 1502 Progress: Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire

After travelling for around four weeks, and lodging for a week at Raglan Castle, Elizabeth of York and Henry VII began their homebound journey.

Bordering Wales and England, Chepstow Castle sits atop of the cliffs overlooking the River Wye in Monmouthshire’s Wye Valley. it was the next stop on the 1502 progress.

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The 1502 Progress: Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire
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The 1502 Progress: Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire

Raglan Castle: Arrival and Family Ties

When Elizabeth and Henry left Troy after five days of hospitality, they had only a short seven-mile journey in a south-westerley direction to reach their next destination, Raglan Castle (or ‘Ragland’ as it was known until at least the early nineteenth century). 

An 1801 account of the road from Monmouth to Raglan describes the scenery the royal couple would have encountered as they began their journey, ‘On leaving Monmouth the road leads for near two miles thro’ a pleasant enclosed valley, skirted by gentle swellings, clothed or cultivated to their summits but gaining the higher ground at Wonastow. The view unfolds itself in a beautiful and extensive manner, over a rich and fertile country…’

The royal party arrived at Raglan Castle on or around 19 August. Their stay there was the apex and, in many ways, the centrepiece of the visit with its incumbent lord, the King’s loyal and erstwhile brother-in-arms, Sir Walter Herbert, playing host…

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