Tag Archives: katherine parr

Sudeley Snapshots: Farewell

29 Oct

A last visit to much-loved Sudeley.  You know now, along with me, that my time in Camelot is ending, so perhaps you can also see these images with the mix of pending nostalgia that has colored all of my last days.

IMG_20140911_152718edI like to imagine these windows with Henry VIII looking through them … or Elizabeth walking past … or unfortunate Katherine Parr with Jane Grey … Or as an example of how we strange humans create windows where there is just air, and backdrops for our passions and dreams where there is really just sunlight.

IMG_4214edFor now, the peacocks own the view.  Well, and the art-loving Dent-Brocklehurst family, of course.

IMG_4217edI love this little cupid, and look for him in the secret garden every visit.

IMG_20140911_145111edThe displays inside the Castle have been updated and extended since our first visit.  I like this windowed corner with remembrance poppies.

IMG_20140911_145434edAnd this new bust of Richard III, commissioned after his burial site was rediscovered.  I was lucky enough to take a tour of the private apartments at Sudeley a couple years ago — now, many of the rooms formerly only accessible during that tour are part of the general public tour route.  (No photos allowed in this part of the house, however, so you really must go for yourself to see!)  If you’ve never been, or haven’t been recently, I recommend a visit.

IMG_20140911_151813edThis velvet royal ‘private’ on display is too amazing not to share.  A throne, indeed.

IMG_20140911_151820edKatherine’s privy lady — her sister — looks over the Queen’s Walk to the Chapel.  I feel I’m standing next to her, in spirit, caught in contemplation forever.

IMG_4230edAnd I take one look back over the box mazes and flowers, before we go.


Sudeley Snapshots: St. Mary’s Chapel

7 Oct

In the intermittent but ongoing Sudeley Snapshot series, I present to you: St. Mary’s Chapel in the spring.


Viewed from the Queen’s garden.  (Here’s a close up of those purple blooms.)IMG_6780e

From the front, with random stranger.  On a side note, I think I’ve done pretty well these past few years to capture photos without random strangers in frame.  How have I managed to do that?IMG_6781e

The white roses in bloom, for the white queen.IMG_6783e

The interior was decorated for a wedding.  Fragrant.IMG_6785e

The altar was stunning.IMG_6786e

I’ve mentioned before — this side chapel memorial to Katherine Parr is an eerie mix of sentimental and Edgar Allan Poe.IMG_6788eAnd a final peek of the church from the secret garden.

Sudeley snapshots: figures in the garden

21 Sep

Sudeley Castle is known for its art installations and patronage of the arts.  (Did you know that much of the Tate Gallery collection was kept at Sudeley during WWII?  Apparently having all those masterpieces stacked around in the living room enhanced a bone-deep appreciation for art in the family bloodline.)  On a recent walk through the gardens, I was struck by the many fantastical man-made figures who walk the Sudeley gardens along with the many tourists and guests.

A sunbather in the pond between the tithe barn and the Castle.

A flowering chair awaits beneath a tithe barn arch.

I have no idea if these are meant to be art or not, but they caught my attention and made me think romantical thoughts — good enough for me.

Oh, dear, heads in the garden again.

A winged messenger, near the dungeon tower.  I wonder if he is coming to set someone free — or put them away.

A young woman with a gown of metal lace emerges from the trees.

A mosaic sword in the knot garden.

An I’m-not-sure who in a courtyard overlooked by the ruins of the old state apartments — where Henry VIII and Elizabeth I would have walked — which were destroyed by Cromwell.

Katherine Parr would have walked this path from her private apartments to her private pew in St. Mary’s church (where she is now buried).  She was attended then in life by Lady Jane Grey — and now in immortality she walks and reads from her prayer book as a hedge figure, followed by a smaller Lady Jane Hedge.

Here is Lady Jane in one of the many stained-glass portraits in the fifteenth century St. Mary’s Church.  (More photos from a previous visit to the Church here: Sudeley snapshots: Kathering Parr)

Here also in the Church, a temporary modern exhibit of photographs of wax figures created based on original paintings — here Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn.  These are from Hiroshi Sugimoto‘s “Portraits” series commissioned by the Guggenheim in Berlin, and they are intriguingly, fascinatingly lifelike — except for the hands, which look all wrong.

The name of this work was lost in the flowers.  No, I don’t mean that was the name, the name was written down on a placard which was buried under flowers.  Kind of beautiful to have the man-made art mixed in so closely with the natural blooms.

He may be hard to spot, but I promise there is a charming putto hiding inbetween the flowers of the Secret Garden.

Lady bathers, taking their metal lives into their own hands if they are going out on that bright boat (it’s full of water).

Another bibliophile hedge lady in a quiet garden near the tithe barn.

At the visitors’ entrance, a life-sized figure of Katherine Parr, holding the Rosa Mundi — a striped rose showing the colors of York white and Lancaster red — the Tudor Rose.

All these figures at Sudeley enhance my appreciation for the hundreds of years of human action that still feel alive at the castle, and the many characters who strolled these same paths in flesh and blood, leaving behind their footprints in history — and nature.