Thornbury Castle is the only castle hotel once owned by the famous Tudor dynasty which ruled the UK, Ireland, and France over periods from 1485-1603. This is where King Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn stayed which makes a visit even more fun, because it allows you to retrace the steps of arguably the most important royal couple in British history.
Anne Boleyn was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII and she became one of the most famous queens in English history, though she ruled for just three years. While at court she caught the eye of Henry VIII who he tried to make his mistress. She refused and resisted all his attempts to seduce her, refusing to become his mistress – which her sister Mary had been before her and had gained little from it but scandal. Anne demanded that the king marry her and it soon became Henry’s one absorbing obsession to annul his marriage to Queen Catherine so he would be free to marry Anne. She waited nearly seven years for Henry to obtain this marriage annulment, and it took for Henry VIII to go against the will of the Church and Pope in Rome himself to force it through. This changed the face of European history in the sense that it literally broke the power of the Catholic Church in England with an irreparable rift between Henry VIII and Pope Clement VII over this one divorce. Anne gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth I, but she was unable to give Henry the son he desperately needed and their marriage ended tragically as she was beheaded on patently false charges, so Henry VIII could move on and maybe get a son. The story is so intriguing that many movies have been made on the subject.
Fact is that this castle is quite powerful and the rooms here are literally among the most impressive you will ever find in any castle hotel today. From exposed stone walls, canopy beds and aged tapestries, the rooms have the perfect Medieval castle feel to them and will bring you back to those days of Anne Boleyn’s romantic escapade with Henry VIII across the halls.