With six wives, Henry VIII certainly knew how to plan a wedding. Although these marriage didn’t all end happily (“Divorced, Beheaded, Died, Divorced, Beheaded, Survived” – the famous rhyme which mirrors the fate of Henry’s wives), Henry certainly knew a lot about getting married. If you’re a history lover then you’ll love the history behind these stunning wedding venues.
1. Leeds Castle, Kent – Home to Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII, Leeds Castle is a stunningly majestic location for a wedding. Catharine had six of Henry’s children, but only one survived – Princess Mary. Surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and gardens, the Castle is an idyllic setting for couples seeking a romantic back drop.
2. Hever Castle, Kent – Anne Boleyn (Henry’s second wife) was brought up at Hever Castle. Becoming Queen for just 1000 days, Anne Boleyn was later put on trial for treason and beheaded! That aside, Hever Castle is a stunning wedding venue set within extensive luxurious gardens, featuring Hever lake.
3. Ashridge House, Hertfordshire – Originally founded in 1283 as a Monastery, Ashridge House is packed with history and character. After the dissolution of the Monastery, the property fell into the hands of Henry VIII. Henry’s children, including Queen Mary, Edward VI and Elizabeth I all spent time at the House. Henry spent Christmas at Ashridge in 1540 and frequently used it as a hunting base.
4. Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire – Owned by Henry VIII, Sudeley Castle is a venue delight for Tudor lovers. It remains the only castle in England to be privately owned and simultaneously have a queen (Katharine Parr) buried in the grounds. Katharine Parr was the only surviving Queen to Henry VIII. Providing the perfect setting for any wedding, the Castle oozes history and stunning textile architecture.
5. Nonsuch Mansion, Surrey – Set in 300 acres of stunning parkland, Nonsuch is located near Henry VIII’s Nonsuch Palace. The little drawing room in the Mansion contains striking Victorian stained glass windows of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
6. Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire– Henry VIII built a hunting lodge near the Oxfordshire town of Woodstock before transforming it into an enclosed park. He then built Woodstock Palace, which was destroyed in the Civil War. Blenheim Palace now stands opposite the old Palace. Blenheim provides a stunning location for a wedding, with sumptuous gardens and lake.