Over 800 years as a family home have left Berkeley wish a collection of fine and splendid treasures, its many elegant rooms belying the terrible secrets of the keep. But its name has links far beyond the castle walls, in the New World, where, on 4th December 1619, a group of 38 Berkeley men stepped ashore in Virginia, more than a year ahead of the Pilgrim Fathers’ arrival in New England. They christened their new settlement Berkeley after the castle and their leader, Richard Berkeley, and their prayers of thanks became the first official American Thanksgiving.
Snowshill Manor in the northern Cotswolds can hardly compete with Berkeley’s longevity of tenure. Many families have enjoyed thii pretty manor house, and the present building has traces of several fairly definite building periods, with the northern end seeming to be a hall house of about 1500.See the beautiful houses in Calais and in the region at this hotels in calais website.
Though its history is poorly documented, it is known that the Manor of Snowshill was given by Coenwulf, King of Mercia, to the Abbey of St Mary at Winchcombe in 821, and it remained the property of the abbey until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Snowshill was claimed in 1539 by King Henry VIII, and given to his sixth wife, Katherine Parr, who on Henry’s death married Thomas Seymour of the neighbouring Manor of Sudeley, where she died in 1548 and is buried.
Snowshill reverted to Edward VI when Seymour was executed a year later, and was then given to John Dudley. It continued to bounce from one illustrious owner to another, again reverting to the Crown after Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland, was beheaded for his support of Lady Jane Grey. But there is no evidence that any of these noble owners actually visited the property.
Snowshill Manor’s recent history, in the hands of the architect, artist-craftsman, collector and poet Charles Paget Wade, is al happy one, see something more at this website. He bought it, semi-derelict, in 1919 and not only restored it but filled it with a notable collection in celebration of craftsmanship, following the ideals of the Arts and Crafts Movement, including English, Oriental and Eur pean furniture, musical instruments, toys, clocks, bicycles, and even Samurai armour. His famous collection remains intact, gifted along with the house to the National Trust, fulfilling the motto on Wade’s coat of arms: Nequid Pereat — “Let nothingperish.”More interesting places in Europe you can find at www.europe-cities.com.
Even charming Snowshill has a dark secret, however. On St Valentine’s eve in 1604 Ann Parsons, a relation by marriage to John Warren of Snowshill Manor, was abducted from the house of her guardian, taken to Snowshill and married to one of her abductors, Anthony Palmer, on the stroke of midnight.