Chepstow Castle, Monmouthshire
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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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Raglan Castle, Monmouthshire
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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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Troy House, Monmouth, Monmouthshire
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Troy House, Monmouth, Monmouthshire

Having stayed at Flaxley Abbey overnight, the following day, on the 14 August, the royal cavalcade was on the move again. Troy House was around 15 miles southwest of Flaxley, just a few miles over the Welsh border. The medieval manor house belonged to the powerful Herbert family. It sat in a wide, shallow valley, close to the small village of Mitchel Troy and overlooking the town of Monmouth, which lay just one mile to the north. Here, a twelfth-century castle, in which Henry V had been born in 1386, dominated a strategically important convergence of two rivers: the River Monnow and the River Wye…

The Vineyard at Over, Gloucestershire
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The Vineyard at Over, Gloucestershire

The 1502 Progress fo Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, continued…
Having stayed overnight in Coberley Hall, the royal party was again on the move. As we read in the above quote, their destination was the Abbot of Gloucester’s fine manor house, which stood on a raised plateau west of Gloucester. The house was known as ‘The Vineyard’ because of the ancient vines cultivated on its terraces since at least the thirteenth century…

Coberley Hall, Gloucestershire
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Coberley Hall, Gloucestershire

John Felde gromes [grooms] of the Quenes chambre for thaire costes wayting upon the Quenes joyelles [jewels] from Langley to Northlache [Northleach] from Northlache to Coberley from Coberley to the Vineyarde from the Vyneyarde to Flexley Abbey from Flexley Abbey to Troye and from Troye to Ragland by the space of vj dayes…
Privy Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York, 2 September 1502.

Just as with Northleach, the only way we know that Elizabeth and Henry travelled through Coberley on the 1502 progress is on account of an entry into Elizabeth’s Privy Purse, recording money paid to the Grooms of the Queen’s Chamber for their part in transporting her jewels from place to place alongside Elizabeth’s household.

This blog details the history of Coberley Hall and the royal visit of 1502.