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A History of Thornbury Castle

Thornbury Castle, a 26-room luxury property, is the only Tudor castle open as a hotel and restaurant.


Founded in 1511 as the home of The Third Duke of Buckingham, Edward Stafford, Thornbury Castle is the perfect example of a castle designed to serve as a home rather than a fortress, due to its minimal defensive features.


Edward Stafford was an English nobleman and the eldest son of Henry Stafford and Katherine Woodville. His father, Henry Stafford, participated in a rebellion against King Richard III and was beheaded without trial in November 1483, during which all his honours, including his knighthood were forfeited, leaving Edward with no title/property to acquire. For 2 years Stafford was said to have moved between houses throughout Herefordshire in order to avoid the same fate as his father, before being reinstated as a Knight of the Order of the Bath and the Duke of Buckingham by Henry VII, after King Richard III's defeat.


During 1520 Edward was suspected of treasonous activities by King Henry VIII and was put under investigation. In April 1521 Edward was summoned to court, found guilty of intending to kill the king and executed on Tower Hill. 


After Edward Stafford's death in 1521, Thornbury Castle was confiscated by King Henry VIII, who stayed here for a while with his queen, Anne Boleyn. He maintained ownership of the property until the 1650s during which time the property fell into a state of disrepair following the English Civil War, a series of military conflicts between the Parliamentarians and the Royalists.


It wasn't until 1824 when the Howard family acquired the property that Thornbury Castle would be restored to its former glory.

Contact Celtic Castles now to book your stay at Thornbury Castle and surround yourself in some true English history!




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