Pictures of England


Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Marle Place Gardens, Brenchley, Kent - TN12 7HS


in the county of Kent

Picture of the Priory Church, Leominster, Herefordshire -  (Taken by Joe Thompson 2007)


in the county of Herefordshire

Pictures of Cowdray House

a Historic Building in the town of Midhurst, in the county of West Sussex

About Cowdray House

Today we associate Cowdray with the famous Polo Club, but the stark ruins sitting above the genteel town of Midhurst stand testimony to what was once a great estate.

The castle was begun in the early part of the 16th-century, and following the Dissolution in 1542 it was given by Henry VIII to Sir Anthony Browne, Master of the Horse. Many thought this to be an odd gesture on the part of the King for Sir Anthony was a staunch Roman Catholic. Sadly he did not live for long enough to enjoy the fruits of the gift, he died in 1548.

Cowdray passed to Browne son, Sir Anthony Browne the Second who rose to become an important man at the court of Elizabeth I. It was then that Cowdray was at its most vibrant, with Browne giving lavish entertainments for the Queen, many of which lasted for several days. Browne had become the Queens most trusted confidant, in her name he went on missions to Europe, at the time few where privy to such importance

The fortunes of the family continued until one day in 1793 when a great fire razed the house almost to the ground leaving behind only the romantic ruins we see today.

The site of the castle is owned by Cowdray Estates who together with the Heritage Lottery Fund are investing to secure this glorious ruin for the enjoyment of future generations.

Cowdray Castle can be found close to the delightful town of Midhurst which itself has many historic buildings and is well worth a visit.

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Recommended towns & villages near Cowdray House

Cowdray Ruins, Midhurst, West Sussex

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Complete A to Z of attractions in England