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Sudeley Manor, Gloucestershire

Historical Description

Sudeley Manor, a parish in Gloucestershire, half a mile SE of Winchcomb, and 7¼ miles NE of Cheltenham. Post town, Winchcomb (R.S.O.) Acreage, 1864; population of the civil parish, 87; of the ecclesiastical, 101. Sudeley Castle was built in the time of Henry VI. by Boteler Lord Sudeley. It occupies the site of a previous castle built soon after the Norman Conquest. It was taken from Boteler by Edward IV. Edward VI. granted it to Sir Thomas Seymour, afterwards Lord Seymour of Sudeley, who married Catherine Parr, the widowed queen of Henry VIII. Queen Catherine died here in 1548, and was buried in the church. Queen Mary granted it to Sir John Brydges, created Lord Chandos of Sudeley in 1554. It was garrisoned for the king in the Civil Wars of Charles I., was taken by the Parliamentarians, and dismantled. It belongs now to the Dent family, and has been partially restored as a residence. It gives the title of Baron to the family of Hanbury Tracy. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. The church was erected about 1460, but being desecrated by the Parliamentary forces in 1643 after the surrender of the castle, went into decay; a side chapel, however, always served as a parish church. The church was restored in 1858-63 by Sir G. Gilbert Scott, and contains a beautiful monument to Queen Catherine Parr.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

Administration

The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyGloucestershire 
Ecclesiastical parishSudeley-Manor St. Mary 
HundredKiftsgate 
Poor Law unionWinchcomb 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.


Church Records

The register dates from the year 1705; entries of baptisms, marriages and burials relating to this parish are also found in the registers of Winchcombe.

The Gloucestershire Parish Registers are available online at Ancestry, in association with Gloucestershire Archives.


Churches

Church of England

St. Mary (parish church)

The church of St. Mary, situated a little east of the Castle, and erected about 1460 by Sir Ralph Boteler, created Baron of Sudeley in 1441, is an edifice of stone in the Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel and nave of five bays, under a single roof, north aisle, and a low embattled tower on the western gable, with crocketed pinnacles at the angles, and containing one bell, recast in 1856, and a "ting-tang" cast in 1773: the whole structure is embattled, and forms a rectangle of five bays, the divisions being marked on the outside by buttresses rising between the spacious windows and terminating in crocketed pinnacles above the parapet: there is a western entrance, and over it a traceried window flanked by canopied niches: the dwarf tower is corbelled out and overhangs this window: in Jan. 1643, the Castle having been surrendered to the parliamentary forces, the building was grossly desecrated, the monuments of the Chandos family destroyed and their graves violated: the building was then allowed to go to decay, and divine service was held in the aisle, an arrangement continued until the year 1862: Queen Catherine Parr, who died at Sudeley Castle, Sep. 5, 1548, was buried in this church, the funeral, conducted by the famous Miles Coverdale D.D. her chaplain and almoner, being the first royal obsequies solemnized according to Protestant rites: in 1782 her grave was opened, and her remains, which had been embalmed and enclosed in lead, were found to be perfectly preserved: further inspections were made in 1784, 1786 and 1792, but in 1817 the Rev. John Lates, then rector, removed the royal remains into the stone vault of the Chandos family, in which lay the relics of George, 6th Lord Chandos, who died in 1654: in carefully repairing the leaden coffin of the Queen, the following inscription was found upon the breast: "K. P. Here Lyethe quene Kateryn Wife to Kyng Henry the VIII. And Last the Wife of Thomas Lord of Sudeley, high Admirall of England, and Vnkle to Kyng Edward the VI. dyed 5 September, MCCCCCXLVIII.": the restoration of the church was begun in 1858 by the late J. C. Dent esq. under the direction of the late Sir G. G. Scott R.A. and it was re-opened for divine service Aug. 2, 1863, by the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol: the church contains a costly and elaborate memorial to Queen Catherine, erected over her remains by Mr. Dent, from the designs of the late Sir G. G. Scott R.A. and executed by Mr. Phillips, of London; it consists of a recessed and feathered ogee arch, richly decorated and flanked by canopied pinnacles containing statues, within which is placed a panelled altar-tomb, adorned with emblazoned shields, and supporting a recumbent effigy of the Queen carved in marble: the stained east window embodies a design suggested by the curious frontispiece to Bentley's "Monument of Matrones," published in 1582, which represents the Last Judgment, with the figure of Queen Catherine recumbent beneath a rainbow, and is supposed to be a reproduction of the beautiful alabaster monument to her memory which once stood in the church, and bore a Latin inscription, written by her chaplain, Dr. Parkhurst; on the south side of the church is placed a stone coffin with coped lid, found at Winchcombe Abbey in 1874: there are 80 sittings.


Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.


Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Sudeley Manor from the following:


Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Gloucestershire is available to browse.


Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Gloucestershire online:


Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of the county of Gloucester, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.