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Most Famous Guests: King Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn.
Thornbury Castle Hotel is a true luxury B&B retreat at the edge of the South Gloucestershire Cotswolds, and notable as the only genuine Tudor castle hotel in England. You can soak up history with a stroll through the castle itself and its beautifully tended grounds which include a 500 year old vineyard, or treat yourself to a massage in the privacy of your own bedchamber and also enjoy some of the Cotswold’s very best food at the castle restaurant.
The castle has 27 rooms in total ranging from classic baronial style bedchambers to some quite exceptional superior and deluxe rooms, and also a cute two bedroom annex cottage in the castle yard. Most of the beds are four poster or coronet in style and you’ll find period features throughout, including, in some rooms, an old style fireplace. Their bathrooms are suitably luxurious too and all in all no modern comforts are spared.
The castle has plenty of common areas; opulent old style sitting rooms and of course the very fine restaurant. All rooms at Thornbury are B&B and the excellent breakfast and can be taken in the restaurant or delivered to your room.
The grounds and the gardens are magnificent and perfect for evening strolls. There is also the added interest of having a 500 year old vineyard with the castle walls from where the hotel makes its own Thornbury Castle wines, and there is also a traditional kitchen garden from where the chefs get some of the ingredients for their highly rated food.
There is also a croquet lawn and archery facilities at the hotel and, with a bit of prior notice, you can arrange another traditional medieval sport; falconry as well as the more modern pursuit of clay-pigeon shooting. You can also enjoy a great range of massage therapies in your room or at their nearby affiliated holistic centre, including reflexology, deep tissue massage and aromatherapy.
Note: The hotel is listed in the family friendly category but unfortunately only children above the age of 8 are welcome to stay!
Near to the city of Bristol, the South Gloucestershire Cotswolds are among England’s most beautiful rural areas, with rolling green hills and some charming villages and towns. Thornbury is one such town at the edge of the Cotswolds which, though having a population of about 12,000 and a busy high street with quite a few shops, restaurants and pubs, has something of a quaint, village like feel.
It has plenty of history too; the Domesday Book noted it as “Turneberie” a manor settlement of 103 people belonging to William the Conqueror‘s wife (and the the mother of William II and Henry I), Matilda of Flanders, and it is the site (right beside Thornbury Castle in fact) of the still standing Church of St.Mary the Virgin a now Anglican church which was built in the later Norman period, 1340 to be exact.
Work was commissioned for the current building in 1511 by 3rd Duke of Buckingham, Edward Stafford, though it is believed to have been the site of a manor house back as far as 930. It is referred to as a castle and is very much castle like in many ways, though technically it is not a castle, as it never had the defensive/fortress like capabilities to be termed as such. It is rather, a very fine example of an early Tudor manor house.
The Duke didn’t really have much time to enjoy his new residence though before being beheaded for treason by his distant cousin King Henry VIII in 1521. The King then confiscated the property for his own use, as you do, though there is only one official record of him actually staying there, when in 1535 he came to spend ten days with his Queen Anne Boleyn, who was later, more famously, to receive the same fate as the Duke.
The castle remained unused for centuries after the English Civil War (1642–1651) and it only became a home again in 1824, when the Howard Family undertook a major renovation.
Address: 27 Castle St
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