Discover the Historic, millennium-old Hartlebury Castle
Worcestershire abounds in historic sites that have witnessed momentous events throughout the last millennium. One such place is the Hartlebury Castle that lies near Stourport-on-Severn in a region with numerous other large manors and country houses, such as Witley Court, Areley Hall, Hartlebury, and Abberley Hall.
A visit to Hartlebury Castle is the perfect occasion to discover more about the United Kingdom’s rich history. It is also a great destination for a family outing and a good way to educate the younger generation about the millennia-old Worcestershire culture.
A brief history of the Hartlebury Castle
The Hartlebury Castle dates back to the mid-13th century when it was built to serve as a manor house. The King Burgred of Mercia gave it to the Bishop of Worcester together with the manorial land that surrounds it.
Throughout the years, the manor at Hartlebury evolved from a slightly fortified house into a majestic castle. It served as a strategically important retreat for the royal forces of Charles I during the Civil War in the 17th-century. Later, during Restoration, the property was returned to the Bishop of Worcester.
Additional construction work has led to the construction of the Hurd Library in 1782, named after Bishop Hurd. The building holds a special designation in the literary history of Great Britain, and even the world. To this day, it holds original manuscripts from Alexander Pope and William Warburton.
In the 20th-century, the Hartlebury Castle was partly administered by the Worcestershire County Council. The authorities used one wing of the former manor to open a museum in 1966.
The Hartlebury Castle remained the residence of the Bishop of Worcester until 2007 when the bishop decided to move to the city. The castle was put up for sale, and many locals feared that it would end in the ill-intended property of private investors.
Fortunately, the local community got together and founded a registered charity called Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT). Its goal is to maintain the castle and the surrounding area as an educational facility where visitors can discover more about Worcestershire history and culture.
The HCPT finally purchased the Hartlebury Castle and the surrounding 43-acre property in 2015. The trust went on to transform it into a museum that is almost entirely open for public visits.
What to see at Hartlebury Castle
Since 2016, the Hartlebury Castle has featured a virtual tour of the building on its website. While the virtual experience is worthwhile, it doesn’t compare to the exhilarating feeling of visiting the historic place in person.
When you visit the Hartlebury Castle you get to walk where bishops and kings walked almost 1,000 years ago. You can take a look inside the historic library, and stroll around the lovely, natural park that surrounds it, and which has become a sanctuary for wildlife.
Some of the great things to see at Hartlebury Castle include:
● The luxurious Bishop’s House
● Magnificent art collections
● Hidden rooms and corridors
● Antique books
● Gypsy caravans
● Gothic architecture
The galleries of the Worcestershire County Museum are also on the premises. They contain fascinating exhibits from the county’s history. Here, you will find artefacts, toys, and old, cultural relics of the past.
What to do at Hartlebury Castle
Even if you are not a history buff, you will still enjoy the greatness of the Hartlebury Castle. The surrounding area offers lovely facilities for a picnic with the family or long walks in a pristine, natural setting with your partner.
The Hartlebury Castle also disposes of a cafe and a souvenir shop. Furthermore, the organizers and staff are always around to ensure that you have the best time visiting this historic landmark of Worcestershire.
How to get to Hartlebury Castle
Hartlebury Castle is easy to reach from the nearby Kidderminster and Worcester. The full address of the place is Hartlebury Castle, Hartlebury, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY11 7XZ.