Richard and his Castles

by admin on 18 September 2016

What does a king do when he doesn’t like a castle?

Well he swaps it or he redevelops it.

Both these happened to Sudeley Castle.

I was commissioned to write a story illustrating Richard III ‘s connection with the castle and its general history for a celebration of the castle and the king.

Richard did indeed own the castle, twice.

Once when he was the ‘lowly’ Duke of Gloucester.

Richard did indeed then swap the castle for Richmond Castle.

It had started life as a moated manor house.

It got some castle walls and it was then it came into Richards hands a second time on his coronation.

I could make a story about its swap, but chose to concentrate instead on its redevelopment. Better historical interpretation possibilities.

Who were medieval developers? The stonemason.

I chose to be a stonemason employed by the kings staff to do the redevelopment.

With my age I was able to say I had worked on the castle 30 years before. This enabled me to bring into the story an earlier history and earlier owners of the castle.

I was able to go into Richards history, and the castles history.

I was able to create my life as a stonemason, how I came to be one, what the life was like, how my wife and children lived.

I was able to talk about the architecture and what the king wanted for the castle.

He wanted to turn it from a castle into a country palace for his family

He wanted to do away with the walls and create a wonderful banqueting hall and private apartments for the family.DSCF2999

It’s a moot point he ever saw the castle.

The setting for my performances was as beautiful as any I have performed in – The C15 St Marys Chapel.

Burial place of Catherine Parr.

Not only that I was sharing the space with the wonderful Stella Splendens, playing their medieval music.

Belinda Durrant Art

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