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Places with Tudor connections

A courtyard surrounded by a brick and stone building with tall chimneys on one side, and a moat on the other
Visitors in the Courtyard at Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Transport yourself back to Tudor times with a visit to the places we care for. These historic homes have stories to tell, of Henry VIII and his six wives, the golden age of Elizabeth I and the birth of the Church of England. Head behind distinctive black and white timber-framed walls to discover Tudor life for yourself.

Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire
Near the historic town of Warwick lies the moated Baddesley Clinton. Henry Ferrers inherited the home from his great-grandfather in 1570 and went on to build much of the south and east side of the house. He spent long periods away, during which time Baddesley Clinton was rented by the Catholic Vaux sisters. See if you can spot the three priest holes, used to hide Catholic priests escaping persecution.Visit Baddesley Clinton
Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Blickling Hall in Norfolk is widely believed to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. Since being executed by her husband, Anne’s ghost is said to haunt Blickling each 19 May – the anniversary of her death. While the original Tudor house was replaced with the current red-bricked mansion in 1616, its Tudor moat remains.Visit Blickling Estate
Buckland Abbey, Devon
Originally built as a Cistercian abbey in 1278, Buckland was remodelled and converted into a house by Richard Grenville after 1576. He then sold it to Sir Francis Drake – the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. It was from here that Drake planned his attack on the Spanish Armada. See up close Elizabeth I’s commission of 1587 at the abbey, giving Drake command of the fleet and permission to 'singe the King of Spain’s beard'.Visit Buckland Abbey
Canons Ashby, Northamptonshire
The Elizabethan manor of Canons Ashby is built from the remains of a medieval Augustinian priory. It was one of the first priories to be suppressed in 1536, having gained a questionable reputation. Sir Francis Bryan, a childhood friend of Henry VIII, reduced the church to its current size – approximately a quarter of the original priory size. Remnants which were removed and recycled can be seen in the manor house.Visit Canons Ashby
Charlecote Park, Warwickshire
While there was an earlier medieval house, the present manor was built in 1558 by Thomas Lucy and his bride, Joyce Acton. The family’s strong Protestantism and loyalty to the crown found favour with Elizabeth I, who knighted Thomas and his son. She even visited Charlecote in 1572 – look out for her portrait in the library. There’s also a bust of Shakespeare in the Great Hall, a reference to the legend that he was caught poaching in Charlecote Park as a young man.Visit Charlecote Park
Cotehele, Cornwall
The Tudor house of Cotehele is perched high above the River Tamar. It’s previous owner, Richard Edgcumbe, is known for rebelling against Richard III and fighting alongside Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth. He was subsequently rewarded with a knighthood and became Comptroller of the Royal Household. Spot the Chapel in the Wood, which marks the spot where Edgcumbe once made a narrow escape from Richard III’s men in 1483.Visit Cotehele
Blue sky over the half-timbered west front of Ightham Mote, a moat in the foreground
The west front of Ightham Mote | © National Trust Images/Chris Jonas
Coughton Court, Warwickshire
Twenty-one generations of the Throckmorton family have lived at Coughton Court since 1409. Katherine Vaux, who married Sir George Throckmorton in the early 16th century, was the aunt of Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife – Catherine Parr. Discover the priest hole in the Tower Room, which had two hidden compartments in case anyone found the first hole.Visit Coughton Court
Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire
Fountains Abbey was a victim of the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. Once one of the richest religious houses in Europe, its ruins are now the most complete Cistercian abbey remains in the country. They can be viewed at a distance from Anne Boleyn’s Seat in Studley Royal Water Garden, which gets its name from the adjacent headless statue.Visit Fountains Abbey
Hardwick, Derbyshire
Visit Hardwick Hall to see a unique collection of the finest 16th-century needlework, furniture and portraits. The house was built by the formidable Elizabeth Shrewsbury, otherwise known as Bess of Hardwick – one of the wealthiest women in Elizabethan England. The sheer quantity of glass used to build Hardwick was daring, giving rise to a local saying: ‘Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall’.Visit Hardwick
Ightham Mote, Kent
In a secluded Kent valley sits the moated Ightham Mote. It’s previous owner, Richard Clement, served in the court of Henry VII as well as Henry VIII. He was present at the Coronation of Anne Boleyn in 1533, then had a hand in her demise in 1536. Look out for the royal coats of arms he installed in stained glass in the Great Hall and on the wooden ceiling of the chapel.Visit Ightham Mote
Knole, Kent
At the heart of Kent’s last medieval deer park lies Knole. Originally built and extended by Archbishops of Canterbury, Henry VIII was so impressed with Knole that he forced Thomas Cramner to hand it over to him. It remained in royal hands until 1561 when Elizabeth I gifted it to her favourite courtier, Robert Dudley. The house then passed to Thomas Sackville in 1566, and his descendants still live there today.Visit Knole
Lavenham Guildhall, Suffolk
Feel the centuries melt away as you step into the timber-framed Lavenham Guildhall. Set in the picturesque village of Lavenham, it tells the story of one of the best-preserved and wealthiest towns in Tudor England. Discover the history of the men and women who shaped the fortunes of this medieval village.Visit Lavenham Guildhall
Looking through an archway sided by panels with stained-glass windows into the inner courtyard at Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire. The decorative black-and-white exterior of the Tudor house is visible on the other side of the courtyard, which has light gravel on the ground.
Looking into the inner courtyard at Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire | © National Trust Images/James Dobson
Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland
Located close to the Scottish border, Lindisfarne Castle was built as a strategically placed fort in the 1540s. Henry VIII had ordered the dissolution of Lindisfarne Priory just a few years before and the Priory stone was used to build the castle. It acted as a defence against border raids by the Scots, until the unification of England and Scotland under James I.Visit Lindisfarne Castle
Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire
The crooked walls of Little Moreton Hall have defied logic for over 500 years. It’s everything you might expect from a Tudor home, with its black-and-white timber walls and surrounding moat, except much wonkier. Step back in time inside this higgledy-piggledy house and discover what everyday Tudor life tells us about the way we live today – look out for witch marks along the way.Visit Little Moreton Hall
Montacute House, Somerset
A masterpiece of Elizabethan Renaissance architecture, Montacute House was designed to make a powerful impression. Its Tudor owner, Sir Edward Phelips, enjoyed a successful political career and played a key role in the trial of Guy Fawkes and his fellow gunpowder plotters. Discover an array of more than 60 Tudor and Jacobean portraits on display, in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery.Visit Montacute House
Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire
The current Nunnington Hall evolved from Tudor beginnings. William Parr, brother of Henry VIII’s sixth and last wife Catherine Parr, inherited Nunnington Hall. William was involved in the scheme to place Lady Jane Grey on the throne after Edward VI's death, which led to William's estates being forfeited to the Crown. The estate was later tenanted by Dr Robert Huicke, physician to Elizabeth I and earlier, to Henry and Catherine.Visit Nunnington Hall
Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk
The castle-like Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk was first built during the War of the Roses by the Bedingfeld family. Its grand gatehouse contains the King’s and Queen’s room – named to commemorate the visit of Henry VII and his wife in 1487. The Bedingfeld family later had a priest hole constructed in the garderobe (lavatory) leading from the King’s Room.Visit Oxburgh Hall
Paycocke's House and Garden, Essex
Built around 1500, Paycocke's House is a grand example of the wealth generated in East Anglia by the cloth trade in the 16th century. Its original owner, Thomas, filled it with elaborate carvings and panelling to show off the riches he gained from his merchant dealings.Visit Paycocke's House and Garden
A huge ruined Gothic abbey, set amid trees and grass in winter, with a central tower and roofless walls
The gothic ruins of Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire | © National Trust Images/David Goacher
Rufford Old Hall, Lancashire
Rufford Old Hall was built for the Hesketh family around 1530 and may have once hosted William Shakespeare for a performance. Its timber-framed Great Hall survives as a grand example of Tudor construction, with a hammerbeam roof and ornate carving. Look out for the 16th-century screen in the Great Hall too, the only one of its kind known to have survived intact.Visit Rufford Old Hall
Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent
Originally built in medieval times, Sissinghurst was bought by Sir John Baker around 1530. A wealthy man, he held various positions during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and Mary I. Sissinghurst’s location in the Weald of Kent, coupled with its owners’ wealth, made it a useful place for travelling monarchs to stay. Mary I visited in 1557, while Elizabeth I stayed in 1573. Don’t miss Sissinghurst’s most distinctive architectural feature, the Elizabethan 4-storey tower capped with octagonal turrets.Visit Sissinghurst Castle Garden
Speke Hall, Liverpool
Before the early 16th century, English homes were built with a series of interconnecting rooms rather than corridors. When Cardinal Wolsey borrowed the idea of corridors from the French for Hampton Court, the fashion spread. Speke Hall is one of the earliest examples of a private house built with corridors, which afforded the Norris family more privacy and kept rooms warmer.Visit Speke Hall
Sutton House, London
One of London’s last remaining Tudor houses, Sutton House was built in 1535 by Sir Ralph Sadleir. A close aide of Thomas Cromwell, by 1540 he was Secretary of State to Henry VIII – and this was his family home. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a Tudor home as you explore oak-panelled chambers and robust fireplaces, as well as a tranquil courtyard.Visit Sutton House
Trerice, Cornwall
Experience life in an Elizabethan manor house at Trerice. This intimate home has barely changed over the centuries, thanks to a series of absentee owners. Pause in the Elizabethan knot garden with its apple trees and look out for the four-poster Tudor bed, complete with original carvings on the headboard.Visit Trerice
Tudor Merchant's House, Pembrokeshire
Tenby had a busy sea trade during Tudor times. The merchant who lived at the Tudor Merchant’s House traded in cloth, vinegar, sea coal, pots and spices. The merchant may have witnessed the flight of Henry Tudor – later Henry VII – and his uncle Jasper Tudor, by ship from Tenby during the Wars of the Roses. Jasper had his power base at nearby Pembroke.Visit Tudor Merchant's House
Ty Mawr Wybrnant, Conwy
An unassuming 16th-century farmhouse in the Conwy Valley, Ty Mawr Wybrnant was the birthplace of Bishop William Morgan. Morgan was the first person to translate the Bible into Welsh, helping to ensure the survival of the language. The first edition appeared in 1588, before the King James Bible, with a revised version published in 1620, which is still used in Wales today.Visit Ty Mawr Wybrnant
The Vyne, Hampshire
The Vyne was transformed from a cluster of medieval buildings into a Tudor palace by Henry VIII’s Lord Chamberlain, Lord Sandys. Henry himself visited The Vyne several times, bringing with him Catherine of Aragon – keep an eye out for the stained glass in the chapel that depicts the two of them. Anne Boleyn would later visit with Henry VIII and Lord Sandys’ son also entertained Elizabeth I here in 1569.Visit The Vyne
Visitors exploring the sand dunes and the woodland at Formby, Liverpool

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