1502 Progress: Beverston Castle, Gloucestershire
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1502 Progress: Beverston Castle, Gloucestershire

If it were not for a single entry in the Queen’s Chamber Books, dated 27 September 1502, when payment was made to Robert Alyn for preparing lodgings for the Queen (see the quote above), we would be none the wiser about the royal visit to Beverston Castle. This would undoubtedly be our loss, as this lovely location has virtually disappeared from our awareness as a place of significance for those following the Tudor trail.

The main reason for this paucity of information is probably that the visit was fleeting. After five days resting at Berkeley Castle, the royal entourage was on the move and pressing on to reach the next notable destination on the geists: Fairford, where they were to be guests of the wealthy wool merchant Sir Edmund Tame. In a subsequent post, we will hear more about the Tame family and this fascinating location. 

However, even this transitory stay gives us ample excuse to bring Beverston back into the spotlight and discover its unassuming charms.

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The 1502 Progress: Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire
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The 1502 Progress: Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire

The next significant stop on the 1502 progress after Woolaston was Berkeley Castle, where the royal couple stayed for five days from 29 August to 4 September.

Berkeley Castle still stands largely untouched since it was set in stone during the eleventh, twelfth and fourteenth centuries. 

Berkeley Castle is highly distinctive in appearance. Built on a typical Norman motte and bailey design during the early and mid-medieval period, it has been constructed from local pink, grey, and yellow Severn sandstone, with its roofs mainly made of Cotswold stone, slate, or lead. 

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The 1502 Progress of Henry VII & Elizabeth of York
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The 1502 Progress of Henry VII & Elizabeth of York

Welcome to the 1502 progress!
For this journey, we are principally following in the footsteps of Elizabeth of York during the 1502 summer progress. It would be Elizabeth’s last summer on Earth. She would die shortly after giving birth to a baby girl the following February.
The progress comes on the back of several deeply personal losses for Elizabeth and Henry VII, including the death of Prince Arthur just three months earlier.
Thus, we see an unusual progress and one the looks rather more like a trip down memory lane than the usual state affair, as the King and queen grapple with their grief.
IN this progress we will be heading from Woodstock in Oxfordshire to Raglan Castle and back again. ready to join me on progress?