The Tudor Travel Guide

Your Visitor's Companion to the Aristocratic Houses of the Sixteenth Century

Castle Combe

A little later than scheduled, on 8 or 9 July 1535, Henry VIII set out from Windsor Castle in Berkshire on what would become one of the longest and most politically significant progresses of his reign: the 1535 progress. Anne, still the king’s ‘most dere and entierly beloved lawfull wiff’, was at his side, as …

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Acton Court is an exquisite example of a courtier’s house from the early Tudor period. I will say more about it in a moment, but probably the thing that makes Acton Court stand out is the fact that the house is in a raw state, which makes it one of the most authentic Tudor properties …

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In the early hours of the morning, on 25 January 1533, the slight figure of a woman made her way by flickering torchlight along the King’s Privy Gallery at Whitehall. Outside the window, blackness enshrouded the privy gardens below. She heard the night owl screech out its territorial cry, penetrating the stillness of the icy, …

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The tomb of Thomas Howard and Anne Howard

Inside an incongruous parish church, in the small Suffolk town of Framlingham, lie some of the most magnificent Tudor tombs you are likely to see anywhere. Although unfinished, they are glorious and contain the remains of some of the most important figures in Tudor history, including Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk; his son, Henry …

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How would you like to explore a Tudor time-capsule? Kenninghall is one such place, even though there is little left to see today and the time capsule must exist only in your mind’s eye. However, once upon a time, it was the principal country residence of the mighty Howard family, including its head, Thomas Howard, …

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Leicester Abbey

Thomas Wolsey was a lucky man. Accused of treason, he narrowly avoided Henry VIII’s ‘justice’ on the scaffold and instead died of natural causes at Leicester Abbey on 29 November 1530. Earlier that month, Henry VIII’s once all-powerful minister had been arrested on charges of high treason at his archepiscopal palace of Cawood, near York. …

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The Ruins of Sheffield Manor

In the story of Wolsey’s final days on Earth, Sheffield Manor (situated in Sheffield Park) is a pivotal location. It would later become famous as one of the prisons used to house Mary, Queen of Scots, during her protracted incarceration in England. However, in our story, it was at Sheffield Manor that the very first …

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As the deepening chill of late autumn crept icily across the Yorkshire countryside, a cavalcade of men on horseback, headed by the twenty-eight-year-old, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, swept into the gates of Cawood Castle. Inside, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, one-time chief minister to Henry VIII, was at dinner, entirely unaware of the storm that was …

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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 …

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History is full of legends. One such story revolves around the tale of what happened to Sir Henry Norris’ (sometimes called ‘Norreys’) severed head after he was executed on Tower Hill on 17 May 1536. The story goes that his family managed to retrieve it, and while Sir Henry’s body was buried in the grounds …

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