Hartlebury Castle

  • Hartlebury, Worcestershire
  • OSGB – SO 8360 7124
  • Grade I Listed Building.


Medieval Bishop’s Palace.


850                              c: Burghred, King of Mercia granted the land to the Bishop of Worcester.

1237                            An unfortified manor stood on the site.

1255                            c: Built. Used as a Bishop’s Palace by Bishop Walter de Cantilupe, a supporter of Simon de Montfort. The moat was added.

1268                            Licence to crenellate granted to Bishop Godfrey Gifford.

1282                            Edward I stayed and gathered men-at-arms to help fight a Welsh revolt.

1390                            c: Bishop Wakefield built the Great Hall.

1450                            Bishop Carpenter built a gatehouse with a drawbridge, but not on the site of the current one.

1476                            Rebuilt by Bishop Carpenter.

1540-1546                   Itinerary of John Leland: Normal use.

16th-17th C                   The principle residence of the Bishops of Worcester.

1642                            Garrisoned by Col. William Sandys for Charles I. He had 120 foot soldiers and 20 horse.

1642-1651                   A mint was set up in the grounds.

1644                            Commissioners for Array fled from Ombersley to the castle.

1646                            16th May: Surrendered to Col. Thomas Morgan for Parliament, without a shot being fired.

1646                            Dismantled  by Col. Morgan, under orders of Parliament.

1647                            Sold to Thomas Westrowe for £3,133 6s 8d.

1675                            Rebuilding work begun by Bishop Fleetwood.

1649-1685                   c; Rebuilt.

1700                            Bishop Lloyd lived at the castle.

1717                            The southern part of the moat was filled in by Bishop Hough, who also built the stables and coach house and improved the gardens.

1745                            Bishop Maddox remodeled the chapel at a cost of £1,200. The work was undertaken by Henry Keene, Surveyor of Westminster Abbey.

1759                            The saloon was refurbished by Bishop Johnson and the eastern ground floor windows were Gothicized.

1781                            Bishop Hurd remodeled Bishop Carpenter’s gatehouse.

1782                            Bishop Hurd built a library over the Long Gallery.

1788                            2nd August: George III visited along with Queen Charlotte.

18th C                          Gothicized. Built on the site of the earlier castle after the Restoration.

1846                            Became the only residence of the Bishops of Worcester.

1905                            A college of clergy were housed in the stable block.

1960’s                         Remodelled.

1960-1969                   Bishops Palace.

1964                            The County Museum took over the North wing.

1966                            Worcestershire County Museum opened its doors to the public.

1980                            Elizabeth II visited the castle.



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