"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on March 27, 2016 by Sioux under General
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Beside the castle at Sudeley stands the small perpendicular church of St Mary’s. Around 1070 the Norman lord Harold de Sudeley built and endowed a church to be built. Harold’s son John granted Winchcombe Abbey the right to collect tithes on all Sudeley lands, and the abbey sent monks to hold services at St Mary’s. In 1122 this practice was banned by the Pope, and we have no record of where the priests came from. On the east wall, behind the high altar, are a pair of heads that may be Lord Ralph and his wife Elizabeth. It is interesting that the medieval mason’s marks found on stones throughout St Mary’s also appear on stones in the castle and in St Peter’s church in Winchcombe, suggesting that the same team of masons worked on all three structures at the same time period.

To the north-west of the castle stand the impressive remains of the imposing medieval tithe barn, destroyed in the Civil War. The ruins of the 15th-century tithe barn form the center of a beautiful romantic garden, featuring a tranquil carp pond, which is surrounded by wisteria, primroses, hollyhocks and cardoons in the summer.

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Queen Katherine Parr was laid to rest in St. Mary’s Chapel at Sudeley. Her grave was rediscovered in 1782 after the Castle and Chapel had been left in ruins by the English Civil War in the mid-17th century. The lead casket was opened and it was commented that the body was ‘uncorrupted’. However, lack of attention led to the degradation of the remains, and the Queen was reinterred in 1817 by the Rector of Sudeley. The plaque next to the tomb was copied from the original inscription on the lead coffin. The effigy on the tomb was made in Victorian times. She is the only queen to be buried on privately owned land.


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