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Hartlebury Castle

  • May 3, 1237

    Unfortified manor house

    An unfortified manor house was in existence. This would have included a Great Hall, chapel, solar and domestic buildings.
  • May 3, 1255


    Bishop Walter de Cantilupe commenced the fortifications by excavating a moat. De Cantilupe was a supporter of Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, in his rebellion against the King.
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  • May 3, 1268

    Licence to crenellate

    Bishop Giffard, loyal to the Plantagenet dynasty, obtained a licence to crenellate. He was accused of appropriating some of the goods of the Sacrist to meet expenses for the fortifications. The bastion for the north-west mural tower remains, and the late 18th century ice house probably indicates the position of the north-east tower.
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  • May 3, 1282

    A Royal visitor

    King Edward I stayed at the castle en route to suppress the Welsh revolt. He levied men-at-arms from the Bishop by feudal right.
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  • May 3, 1390

    Great Hall erected

    Great Hall erected
    The Great Hall which, although somewhat altered, remains today was erected by Bishop Wakefield. It has an arch braced roof constructed of timbers taken from forests near Malvern, a gift from King Richard II.
  • May 3, 1450

    Gatehouse and drawbridge added

    Bishop Carpenter caused a great gatehouse and drawbridge to be built, probably on the east of the castle bailey. This has no connection with the present entrance gatehouses in that position today.
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  • Aug 12, 1575

    Another Royal Visit

    Queen Elizabeth I visits Hartlebury Castle
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  • Described in print

    Described in print
    The castle is described as a ‘fayre manor Place . . . having ii lytell towers covered with Leade, and the Chamber cauled the Bishop’s Chamber also covered with Leade, and there is a Chappell annexed to the said chamber lykewyse covered with Leade, where ys a lyttel bell weying by estimation dimid. hundred Weight. Also there is a mote and a Ponde adjoyning to the said Castell well stored with Fyshe . . .
    (date very approximate!)
  • Bishop of Worcester

    Bishop of Worcester
    Hartlebury became the principal residence of the Bishops of Worcester.
    (date very approximate!)
  • Civil War (I)

    Civil War (I)
    The castle was garrisoned for the King by Col. William Sandys with 120 foot soldiers and 20 horses. The fortifications were strengthened and supplies for a twelve month period laid in. The site’s importance lay in its proximity to fordings of the River Severn at Larport and Redstone on a main route to Wales.
  • Civil War (II)

    During the Civil War, the Commissioners for Array, being pursued, fled to the castle from Ombersley, believing it to be a safer place than Worcester.
  • Civil War (III) - Castle falls

    On 16th May 1646 however, after only two days and without a shot being fired, the castle surrendered to the Parliamentary army under Col. Thomas Morgan.
  • Civil War (IV) - The Mint

    During the Royalists’ occupation a mint was set up at the castle to strike coins (probably to pay the soldiers and local suppliers). A rare half-crown from this mint is now in the collections of the County Museum.
  • Civil War (V) - Sold!

    After some use as a prison for Royalist captives the castle was slighted, then fell into further dereliction, and in 1647 was sold to a Thomas Westrowe for £3,133 6s. 8d.
  • Rebuilding begins

    Bishop Fleetwood began the rebuilding of the castle.
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  • Deer park

    Learn more about this Bishop</a>Bishop Lloyd resided in the refurbished castle. The pale of the deer park was repaired.
    <br /><br /><a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Lloyd_(bishop_of_Worcester)' >
  • Further development

    Bishop Hough filled in the southern arm of the moat, improved the gardens and built the stables and coach house.
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  • Chapel remodelled

    Chapel remodelled
    Bishop Maddox spent £1200 on remodelling the chapel. The work was carried out by Henry Keene, Surveyor of Westminster Abbey. The windows (no longer in situ) were designed by Dr John Wall of Worcester.
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  • Remodelling continues

    Remodelling continues
    Bishop Johnson refurnished the saloon. The eastern facade ground floor windows were ‘Gothicised’ by the addition of lancet heads.
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  • Last mediaveal section removed

    Bishop Hurd is believed to have removed the last vestiges of the mediaeval keep, which is described as having been to the east of the house. This almost certainly refers to Bishop Carpenter’s fortified gatehouse.
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  • Hurd Library

    Bishop Hurd built his library over the pre-existing Long Gallery.
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  • Royal Visit - Jelly for breakfast?

    King George III visits Hartlebury Castle
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  • A Bishops Palace

    Hartlebury Castle became the sole residence of the Bishops of Worcester.
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  • More remodelling

    A college of Clergy was created by Bishop Yeatman-Biggs and housed in the converted stable block, now the Temporary Exhibition Gallery and administration offices of Worcestershire County Museum.
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  • County Museum

    The north wing of the castle was taken over for the creation of a County Museum.
  • County Museum opens

    County Museum opens
    Worcestershire County Museum opened to the public.
  • Royal Visit

    Queen Elizabeth II visits Hartlebury Castle Learn more about this event
  • Bishop leaves for Worcester

    The Bishop of Worcester moves out of Hartlebury Castle to Worcester.
  • It's ours !?!

    Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust acquires the property ?
  • Land acquired

    Burghred, King of the West Mercians, gave the land upon which the castle now stands to the Bishop of Worcester. The manor subsequently descended with the See.
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  • Period: to

    Further information

    Timeline reproduced using information from the Worcestershire County Museum
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