Cowdray House

Cowdray House, also known as Cowdray Castle or Midhurst Castle, lies next to the town of Midhurst, in the county of West Sussex in England.

The first building at this site on the bank of the River Rother was a fortified manor house built in the late 13th century by a Sir John de Bohun.

In the 1520's construction of the present building was started by Sir David Owen. His son sold it in 1529 to William FitzWilliam, 1st Earl of Southampton, who in 1533 was granted a licence to crenellate by King Henry VIII of England.

Henry VIII visited the castle in 1538, 1539 and 1545. In 1538 the castle was used to imprison Lady Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury. Mary of Guise stayed here in 1551. The castle was also visited by King Edward VI of England in 1552 and by his sister Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1591.

In 1548 Cowdray House was inherited by Sir Anthony Browne, who was ennobled as the 1st Viscount Montague in 1554. During the English Civil War in the mid-17th century it was sequestered from Francis Browne, 3rd Viscount Montague, and subsequently garrisoned by Parliamentary troops.

The castle was almost completely destroyed by fire in September 1793 when repair works were taking place. Only the kitchen tower remained intact. Less than 2 weeks later it's owner, the 8th Viscount Montague, drowned while in Switzerland. It is said this was the fulfilling of a curse placed upon the family in 1536 by an angry monk, after a forefather of the Viscount had recieved Battle Abbey during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Cowdray House was never rebuilt and left to ruin. In the early 20th century the estate with the ruin was bought by Sir Weetman Dickinson Pearson, who later became the 1st Viscount Cowdray. He consolidated the ruin. His descendants still own the ruin which was restored in 2006 and opened to the public in 2007.

At present Cowdray House can be visited. A great ruin, sadly it was closed when I came by.


Gallery

Cowdray House

Cowdray House, also known as Cowdray Castle or Midhurst Castle, lies next to the town of Midhurst, in the county of West Sussex in England.

The first building at this site on the bank of the River Rother was a fortified manor house built in the late 13th century by a Sir John de Bohun.

In the 1520's construction of the present building was started by Sir David Owen. His son sold it in 1529 to William FitzWilliam, 1st Earl of Southampton, who in 1533 was granted a licence to crenellate by King Henry VIII of England.

Henry VIII visited the castle in 1538, 1539 and 1545. In 1538 the castle was used to imprison Lady Margaret Pole, 8th Countess of Salisbury. Mary of Guise stayed here in 1551. The castle was also visited by King Edward VI of England in 1552 and by his sister Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1591.

In 1548 Cowdray House was inherited by Sir Anthony Browne, who was ennobled as the 1st Viscount Montague in 1554. During the English Civil War in the mid-17th century it was sequestered from Francis Browne, 3rd Viscount Montague, and subsequently garrisoned by Parliamentary troops.

The castle was almost completely destroyed by fire in September 1793 when repair works were taking place. Only the kitchen tower remained intact. Less than 2 weeks later it's owner, the 8th Viscount Montague, drowned while in Switzerland. It is said this was the fulfilling of a curse placed upon the family in 1536 by an angry monk, after a forefather of the Viscount had recieved Battle Abbey during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Cowdray House was never rebuilt and left to ruin. In the early 20th century the estate with the ruin was bought by Sir Weetman Dickinson Pearson, who later became the 1st Viscount Cowdray. He consolidated the ruin. His descendants still own the ruin which was restored in 2006 and opened to the public in 2007.

At present Cowdray House can be visited. A great ruin, sadly it was closed when I came by.


Gallery