Page last updated at 10:11 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010
The history of Hartlebury Castle - once a Bishop's home

The Great Hall at Hartlebury Castle in Worcestershire
The Great Hall at Hartlebury Castle in Worcestershire

c 850 - The Bishop of Worcester is given the lands at Hartlebury by Burghred, King of the West Mercians.

1237 - There was a manor house on the site, which was probably very grand.

1255 - Bishop Walter de Cantilupe started fortifying the house - a very wise move as he was allied to Simon de Montfort, who was rebelling against the King. De Montfort later died at the Battle of Evesham.

1268 - More fortifications added by Bishop Giffard. He was more loyal than Bishop Walter, being a supported of the Plantagenet dynasty.

1282 - King Edward I stayed at the castle on his way to dealing with another rebellion, this time by the Welsh.

c.1450 Bishop Carpenter adds a great gatehouse and drawbridge - though not the one that you can see today.

Map showing Hartlebury Castle
Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service

1642 - During the English civil war the castle is held by a garrison of Royalist troops - 120 foot soldiers and 20 horses under Colonel William Sandys. There was even a mint at the castle and you can see one of the coins produced by it in the museum. However Parliamentary troops under Colonel Thomas Morgan took the Castle after a two day seige without a shot being fired. The Castle was later used to house Royalist prisoners, and eventually fell into disrepair.

1675 - Bishop Fleetwood begins the job of rebuilding the Castle.

1781 - Bishop Hurd got rid of the last vestiges of the mediaeval keep.

1846 Hartlebury Castle became the sole residence of the Bishops of Worcester.

1964 The north wing of the Castle is used to form the County Museum . It opens to the public two years later.

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