The Charterhouse: Piety, Power and Treason in the City

In this blog, we will be visiting the most prestigious religious institution of Tudor London: the Charterhouse. Its Tudor history embraces piety, bloodshed, triumph and treason as men of God, and men of power came and went, shaping not only its history but the very fabric of the building. Thankfully, today, some of the original … Read more

Harvington Hall: House of Secrets

If you want to explore a Tudor ‘house of secrets’ then the subject of today’s blog, Harvington Hall in Worcestershire, is going to be right up your street. As you will hear, this incredibly raw and authentic Elizabethan moated manor house was designed with the utmost subterfuge in mind. In exploring the history of the … Read more

Theobalds: A Hollywood Starlet of the Elizabethan Age

If houses could be Hollywood starlets, then Theobalds, in Hertfordshire, (actually pronounced ‘Tibbles’) would most certainly make the grade! It became renowned in its own, short lifetime as being one of the finest houses of the age. One Elizabethan visitor called it ‘magnificent’, saying that it was noted for its number of turrets and ‘unrivalled … Read more

Elsyng Palace: A Royal Tudor Nursery

Prince Edward

On the anniversary of the birth of Prince Edward, later Edward VI of England, we visit the lost royal palace of Elsyng, in Enfield, which stood as witness to one of the most critical moments in the young boy’s life. For it was at Elsyng that alongside his sister, Elizabeth, the young Prince learnt of … Read more

The Lost Dress of Elizabeth I: The Bacton Altar Cloth

The Bacton Altar Cloth

Occasionally, an incredible discovery of historic significance occurs. Such is the case with the Bacton Altar Cloth, now believed to be part of a lost dress from Elizabeth I’s wardrobe. This item is not just rare – it is unique. For although accessories belonging to Elizabeth have survived, no single item of her clothing is … Read more

Elizabeth I Dancing La Volta – A Scandalous Painting!

Elizabeth I was known for her virtue as England’s ‘Virgin Queen’. This most iconic of monarchs would likely have been mortified to find her image captured in a painting that cast aspersions on her well-manicured reputation. In the scene, we encounter Queen Elizabeth dancing La Volta in an ungainly display of intimacy with her ‘favourite’, … Read more

The Kenilworth Portraits: The Images Elizabeth I Never Saw

When Dudley stood back and admired the two new, full-length paintings hanging on the walls of his Warwickshire home at Kenilworth Castle, he knew he was treading on delicate ground. The queen was soon to arrive as part of her summer progress – and Dudley had spent millions (in modern-day money) in preparation for the … Read more

The Chequers’ Ring & The Mysterious Riddle of the Woman in the Portrait

The fabulous Chequers’ Ring, so-called because it resides in Chequers, the UK Prime Minister’s country residence, has long been an object of mystery and speculation. Rarely on view to the public, it is one of the most intensely personal objects, once belonging to Elizabeth I. Is the portrait of the mystery woman inside that of … Read more