Thornbury Castle

Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England

Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham (1478-1521) began construction of Thornbury Castle in 1511. Being more of a glorified country residence than a traditional defensive castle it still has an undenighably intimidating and impressive Tudor fascade.

Stafford was a courtier of Henry VIII and a notorious poor gambler, likely tolerated only because he jousted and made good sport. Stafford lost his head to the axe in 1521 after falling out of favor with Henry and was found guilty of treason. Swiftly taking possession of Thornbury after the duke's death, Henry stayed for ten days his new wife, Anne Boleyn in August 1535 on their South-West Summer progress.

Henry's daughter Mary spent time at the castle when a princess and there are ghostly tales of a lady in period dress who still frequents the rose garden. Might it have been the young royal that Rachel saw on our visit?

Rachel: recovering from ill health, I spent a night at the castle as a treat. Luckily Tracey was able to join me for dinner and we took the opportunity after guests had departed, to venture into the garden, returning later to investigate the castle. Being mindful that we obviously were not the only people on site, we were careful not to record in areas that either staff or guests might wonder, even late at night. Apart from at the end of our garden walk and as we entered the castle, we are confident that we were alone when recording.