Hartlebury Castle

Last updated

Hartlebury Castle
Worcestershire, England
Hartlebury Castle from the front.JPG
The exterior of Hartlebury Castle from the front
Worcestershire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Hartlebury Castle
Coordinates 52°20′19″N2°14′32″W / 52.3386°N 2.2421°W / 52.3386; -2.2421 Coordinates: 52°20′19″N2°14′32″W / 52.3386°N 2.2421°W / 52.3386; -2.2421
Grid reference grid reference SO836712
Site information
Open to
the public
Yes
Exterior of Hartlebury Castle Front of Hartlebury Castle.jpg
Exterior of Hartlebury Castle

Hartlebury Castle, a Grade I listed building, [1] near Hartlebury in Worcestershire, central England, was built in the mid-13th century as a fortified manor house, on manorial land earlier given to the Bishop of Worcester by King Burgred of Mercia. [2] [3] It lies near Stourport-on-Severn in an area with several large manors and country houses, including Witley Court, Astley Hall, Pool House, Areley Hall and Hartlebury and Abberley Hall. It became the bishop's principal residence in later periods. [4]

Contents

History

Hartlebury Castle was the residence of the Bishop of Worcester from the early 13th century until 2007.

Bishop Walter de Cantilupe, a supporter of Simon de Montfort, began to fortify the Castle, which was embattled and finished by his successor, Godfrey Giffard, in 1268. The gatehouse was added in the reign of Henry VI, by Bishop Carpenter. [5]

King Edward I became Hartlebury Castle's first royal visitor in 1282, when he was on the way to Wales. [6] Queen Elizabeth stayed on 12 August 1575 with the Bishop Nicholas Bullingham, while on a journey to Worcester. [7]

In 1582, Bishop John Whitgift signed the paper that allowed William Shakespeare to marry Anne Hathaway. [8]

In 1646, during the First English Civil War, Hartlebury Castle was strongly fortified and held for King Charles I by Captain Sandys and Lord Windsor, with 120 foot soldiers and 20 horse (cavalry troopers), and provisions for twelve months. However, when summoned by Colonel Thomas Morgan for Parliament, it surrendered in two days without a shot being fired. [5] The Castle was slighted, [3] and the Parliamentary Commissioners seized it and the manor estate, which were sold to Thomas Westrowe for £3,133 6s. 8d. They were returned to the Bishop of Worcester after the Restoration of 1660. [5]

The Hurd Library was built by Bishop Hurd in 1782 and still contains his extensive collection of books, including works from the libraries of Alexander Pope and William Warburton. Among them is the copy of the Iliad from which Pope's translation was made.

Bishop Hurd was visited by King George III, Queen Charlotte, three of the princesses and the Duke of York in 1788. [9]

The avenue of limes in the park was planted by Bishop Stillingfleet. Bishop Pepys presented Queen Victoria with the herd of deer kept at Hartlebury since time immemorial. [5] An idea of how a bishop's family lived in the mid-19th century can be gained from the vivid diary of ten-year-old Emily Pepys, daughter of Bishop Pepys, which covers a six-month period in 1844–1845. [10]

By 1890 some of the Castle moats had been filled and laid out as flower gardens. [5]

In the First World War, Hartlebury Castle became a Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) Hospital. There are scrapbooks left by soldiers who were cared for at the Castle, available to see online or onsite.

With the coming of Bishop Inge in 2008, the Bishop's residence was moved from the Castle to a house adjacent to the Cathedral in the city of Worcester. In 1964, the north wing was taken over by Worcestershire County Council and in 1966 opened to the public as Worcestershire County Museum.

In 2010, BBC Midlands News reported that Hartlebury Castle was up for sale and local people were running a campaign to stop it falling into private hands. Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT), a registered charity, [11] was formed to preserve Hartlebury Castle for education and public enjoyment and allow the Hurd Library to remain intact there.

Campaigners were given until April 2011 to raise £2 million to prevent the house being put on the open market. It was reported on 17 August 2012 that HCPT had agreed to pay its owners, the Church of England, £2.45 million for the freehold of the buildings, gardens and parks. Moves to raise the purchase price from the Heritage Lottery Fund and from private donors were in progress. [12]

The Chapel at Hartlebury Castle Chapel at Hartlebury Castle.jpg
The Chapel at Hartlebury Castle
The rear of the house and the moat Hartlebury Castle viewed across moat.JPG
The rear of the house and the moat
The Cider Mill onsite at Hartlebury Castle. Cider Mill and Worcestershire County Museum.jpg
The Cider Mill onsite at Hartlebury Castle.

In April 2013 HCPT was successful in its initial Heritage Lottery funding application. This provided funds to develop a Business Plan for the future of Hartlebury Castle. In October 2014 HCPT, with partners Worcestershire County Council and Museums Worcestershire, gained £5M from the Heritage Lottery Fund to preserve it, along with its estate and assets, including the Hurd Library.

In March 2015 HCPT bought Hartlebury Castle and its 43-acre estate, intending to turn it into a visitor attraction with accessible state rooms and a County Museum. In May 2016 a virtual reality tour of the Hurd Library was devised. [13]

In April 2018 renovations were completed and the Castle opened to visitors. The Bishops Palace can be explored with audio guides, talking portraits and interactive displays. The grounds are open with a nature trail. There is a Worcestershire County Museum and a café. [14] The Castle relies on the income from ticket sales, shop purchases and donations to remain open and continue to share its history with the public. [15] The Castle has received financial aid from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in the form of the Culture Recovery Fund, given to heritage attractions during the lull in visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hartlebury Castle today

Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust was able to purchase the Castle in 2015 with the help of a £5m grant from The Lottery Heritage Fund and renovation began. [16] A concept was developed to tell its story through the Pepys family, with digital portraits, an audio-guide and interactive displays of its history. [17] The Nature Trail takes visitors round the grounds and the Moat Walk, past a sunken garden, orchard terrace, boardwalk and carriage circle. [18] The café is open all day. [19] The adjacent Worcestershire County Museum has been located on the site for over 50 years. The intention is to make the Castle financially self-sufficient. [20] The Castle can also be privately hired. [21]

Worcestershire County Museum

The Worcestershire County Museum in the former servants' quarters of Hartlebury Castle focuses on local history, toys, archaeology, costumes, crafts by the Bromsgrove Guild, local industry and transportation, area geology and natural history. There are period room displays including a schoolroom, nursery and scullery, and Victorian, Georgian and Civil War rooms.

The grounds include a cider mill and a Transport Gallery that features a fire engine, a hansom cab, bicycles, carts and a collection of Gypsy caravans.

See also

Notes

  1. "Hartlebury Castle, Hartlebury". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 16 September 2011. (The listing text provides a full architectural description).
  2. Hooke 1990, p. 101.
  3. 1 2 Worcestershire Council staff 2010.
  4. Willis-Bund 1913, pp. 380–387.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Burton 1890, p. 201.
  6. Broadway, Beth. "HISTORY". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  7. John Nichols, Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, vol. 1 (London, 1823), pp. 533 and 536.
  8. Broadway, Beth. "HISTORY". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  9. Broadway, Beth. "HISTORY". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  10. Avery 1984, "Introduction".
  11. &subId=0 "HARTLEBURY CASTLE PRESERVATION TRUST, registered charity no. 1127871". Charity Commission for England and Wales.{{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  12. BBC News, 17 August 2012. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  13. Hurd Library VR Tour
  14. Broadway, Beth. "ABOUT US". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  15. Broadway, Beth. "ABOUT US". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  16. Broadway, Beth. "ABOUT US". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  17. Broadway, Beth. "WHAT TO SEE". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  18. Broadway, Beth. "The Grounds". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  19. Broadway, Beth. "PLAN YOUR VISIT". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  20. Broadway, Beth. "PLAN YOUR VISIT". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  21. Broadway, Beth. "ABOUT US". Hartlebury Castle. Retrieved 14 December 2021.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Worcestershire</span> County of England

Worcestershire is a county in the West Midlands of England. The area that is now Worcestershire was absorbed into the unified Kingdom of England in 927, at which time it was constituted as a county. Over the centuries the county borders have been modified, but it was not until 1844 that substantial changes were made. This culminated with the abolition of Worcestershire in 1974 with its northern area becoming part of the West Midlands and the rest part of the county of Hereford and Worcester. However, in 1998 the county of Hereford and Worcester was abolished and Worcestershire was reconstituted without the northern area, which was ceded to the West Midlands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Worcester, England</span> Cathedral city in Worcestershire, England

Worcester is a cathedral city in Worcestershire, England, of which it is the county town. It is 30 miles (48 km) south-west of Birmingham, 101 miles (163 km) north-west of London, 27 miles (43 km) north of Gloucester and 23 miles (37 km) north-east of Hereford. The estimated population in 2019 was 102,791.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Hurd (bishop)</span> 18th-century English bishop, divine, and writer

Richard Hurd was an English divine and writer, and bishop of Worcester.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Evesham</span> Human settlement in England

Evesham is a market town and parish in the Wychavon district of Worcestershire, in the West Midlands region of England. It is located roughly equidistant between Worcester, Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon. It lies within the Vale of Evesham, an area comprising the flood plain of the River Avon, which has been renowned for market gardening. The town centre, situated within a meander of the river, is subjected regularly to flooding. The 2007 floods were the most severe in recorded history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stourport-on-Severn</span> Human settlement in England

Stourport-on-Severn, often shortened to Stourport, is a town and civil parish in the Wyre Forest District of North Worcestershire, England, a few miles to the south of Kidderminster and downstream on the River Severn from Bewdley. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 20,292.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hartlebury</span> Human settlement in England

Hartlebury is a village and civil parish in Worcestershire, England which is in Wychavon district centred 3.6 miles (5.8 km) south of Kidderminster. The civil parish registered a population of 2,549 in the 2001 Census.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Worcestershire</span>

The area now known as Worcestershire has had human presence for over half a million years. Interrupted by two ice ages, Worcestershire has had continuous settlement since roughly 10,000 years ago. In the Iron Age, the area was dominated by a series of hill forts, and the beginnings of industrial activity including pottery and salt mining can be found. It seems to have been relatively unimportant during the Roman era, with the exception of the salt workings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Weoley Castle</span> Human settlement in England

Weoley Castle is a residential suburban district in south-west Birmingham, England. The area is part of the Weoley local authority electoral ward, and also comes under the Northfield local council constituency. The suburb of Weoley Castle is bordered by Selly Oak to the east, Harborne to the north, Bartley Green to the west, and Weoley Hill and Shenley Fields to the south.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mid Worcestershire (UK Parliament constituency)</span>

Mid Worcestershire is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by Nigel Huddleston, a Conservative.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Llancaiach Fawr</span> Tudor manor house in Nelson, Caerphilly

Llancaiach Fawr Manor is a Tudor manor house near the village of Nelson, located just to the north of the site of the former Llancaiach Colliery in the heart of the Rhymney Valley in South Wales. The semi-fortified house was built on the site of an earlier medieval structure, either on top of the previous dwelling or possibly incorporated within the eastern end of that building. It is a Grade I listed building and is now best known as the home of Colonel Edward Prichard, who hosted a visit by King Charles I of England in 1645.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Longtown Castle</span> Norman fortification in Longtown, England

Longtown Castle, also termed Ewias Lacey Castle in early accounts, is a ruined Norman motte-and-bailey fortification in Longtown, Herefordshire. It was established in the 11th century by Walter de Lacy, reusing former Roman earthworks. The castle was then rebuilt in stone by Gilbert de Lacy after 1148, who also established the adjacent town to help pay for the work. By the 14th century, Longtown Castle had fallen into decline. Despite being pressed back into use during the Owain Glyndŵr rising in 1403, it fell into ruin. In the 21st century the castle is maintained by English Heritage and operated as a tourist attraction.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bishop of Worcester</span> Diocesan bishop in the Church of England

The Bishop of Worcester is the head of the Church of England Diocese of Worcester in the Province of Canterbury, England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Croome Court</span> Country house in Worcestershire, England

Croome Court is a mid-18th-century Neo-Palladian mansion surrounded by extensive landscaped parkland at Croome D'Abitot, near Upton-upon-Severn in south Worcestershire, England. The mansion and park were designed by Lancelot "Capability" Brown for the 6th Earl of Coventry, and they were Brown's first landscape design and first major architectural project. Some of the mansion's rooms were designed by Robert Adam. St Mary Magdalene's Church, Croome D'Abitot that sits within the grounds of the park is now owned and cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hartlebury Common</span> Lowland heath in Worcestershire, England

Hartlebury Common is an area of lowland heath in north Worcestershire, England, situated just outside the town of Stourport-on-Severn. Hartlebury Common and Hillditch Coppice are a biological and geological Site of Special Scientific Interest which covers an area of 90.2 hectares . The common supports many varieties of wild plants and insects, especially butterflies and moths. Hartlebury Common and Hillditch Pool are a Local Nature Reserve.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henry Pepys</span>

Henry Pepys was the Church of England Bishop of Sodor and Man in 1840–1841 and of Worcester in 1841–1860. He gave generously to the Three Choirs Festival, held in Worcester every third year. His daughter Emily gained fame as a child diarist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Commandery</span>

The Commandery is a historic building open to visitors and located in the city of Worcester, England. It opened as a museum in 1977 and was for a while the only museum in England dedicated solely to the Civil Wars. The Commandery ceased to be a Civil War museum when it reopened to the public in May 2007, having undergone a year and a half of refurbishments and reinterpretation jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Worcester City Council, who own the building. It is a Grade I listed building.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Worcestershire County Museum</span>

Worcestershire County Museum is a local museum located within Hartlebury Castle in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, England, near the City of Worcester. The Museum is one of three sites run by Museums Worcestershire, a Museums Service run in partnership between Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Emily Pepys</span> English child diarist, 1833–1877

Emily Pepys was an English child diarist, whose account of six months of her life provides a vivid insight into a wealthy bishop's family. She was a collateral descendant of the diarist Samuel Pepys.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Worcester</span>

Worcester's early importance is partly due to its position on trade routes, but also because it was a centre of Church learning and wealth, due to the very large possessions of the See and Priory accumulated in the Anglo-Saxon period. The city was sometimes important for strategic military reasons, being close to Gloucester and Oxford, as well as Wales, which led to a number of attacks and sieges in the conflicts of the early medieval period. For similar reasons, it was valuable to the crown in the English Civil Wars.

Isaac Henry Gosset (1713–1799) was an 18th-century sculptor and wax-modeller.

References

Attribution