Sutton House & Tudor Hackney: Ralph Sadler’s Nouveau-Riche ‘Bryk Place’

This post contains affiliate links. In this month’s blog, I am going to introduce you to a Tudor house that is utterly unique. You will simply not find another like it anywhere: Sutton House in Hackney. It was created by a Tudor courtier on the rise; not yet wealthy enough to build a grand country … Read more

Otford Palace: Rivalry, Glory and Ruin in the Tudor Age

Otford Palace, in Kent, was once acknowledged as being the most magnificent house in England. The man who was singularly responsible for its aggrandisement, William Warham, then Archbishop of Canterbury, was locked in rivalry with the Thomas Wolsey. At the time, Wolsey was in the ascendant, fast becoming the second most powerful man in the … Read more

Tudor Stepney & Thomas Cromwell’s ‘Great Place’

Cover Image: Worcester House with Tudor Stepney in the background. Image courtesy of MOLA Anyone who knows me will be aware that Anne Boleyn is my historical heroine, but lately, I admit to having developed a growing fascination for her nemesis: Thomas Cromwell, his protégés, such as Sir Richard Rich and Sir Ralph Sadler, as … Read more

‘Gold and Glory’ at Hampton Court Palace

The Field of Cloth of Gold was one of the most spectacular events of its age. Feted for the ostentatious display of power and wealth on both sides, its principal architect, Cardinal Wolsey, provided a glittering stage upon which two young, alpha males of Europe, Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England, might … Read more

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

The Burial of Anne Boleyn and the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula

When Anne Boleyn was executed within the precinct of the Tower of London on 19 May 1536, no provision had been made for her burial. She had died a convicted traitor, guilty of adultery, incest, and treason. Henry had already washed his hands of her and would marry his third wife, Jane Seymour, within days. … Read more

Leez Priory & The Most Notorious Villain in Tudor History

Leez Priory

When one of the most commonly cited life achievements of a man is the illegal torture of a defenceless, young woman, you know that you must have met one of the most wretchedly cruel villains of Tudor history. However, this man was no shady character of the streets; not a heinous criminal bent on breaking … Read more

Middleham Castle: Daunting Fortress, Luxurious Home and One Priceless Jewel!

Middleham Castle sits in the wide-open, rugged and beautiful landscape of North Yorkshire, about 230 miles north of London and 45 miles northwest of York. It was recounted by Tudor antiquary, John Leyland, as ‘a pretty market town, and standith on a rocky hill, on the top whereof is the castle meately welle dyked with … Read more

Kimbolton Castle: The Final Days and Death of Katherine of Aragon

On 7 January 1536, a beleaguered Katherine of Aragon died at Kimbolton Castle in Cambridgeshire. She had spent the final years of her eventful life in exile, abandoned by her husband, Henry VIII, on account of the king’s quest for a legitimate son and heir. Katherine’s is a sorry tale and her end at Kimbolton … Read more

Rievaulx Abbey & the Brutal Dissolution of the Monasteries

The Ruins of Rievaulx Abbey

This blog is adapted from an ‘on-location’ interview for my podcast, The Tudor History & Travel Show, recorded at Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire. Our guide is Michael Carter, a senior properties curator at English Heritage. He specialises in English Monasticism and the Cistercian order. Read through to the end to find out Michael’s top … Read more