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A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England
(Ebury Press) ISBN 978-0091944841 0091944848

If you plan a tour of England, bring this guide to the history, stories, characters and events of the Tudor period. When was it? The timeline runs from 1485 to 1603.

Suzannah Lipscomb makes Tudor history interesting as you visit tourist attractions in London and in England. They include 50 English castles, palaces, abbeys, theaters, churches and colleges connected to the Tudor era.

Places to visit in England

Organized by regions of England, Dr. Lipscomb's book brings you to popular tourist attractions, such as Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London, as well as lesser-known Tudor sights nearby. For example, she says that it is worth visiting Castle Lodge, near Ludlow Castle in Shropshire.

Some of the Tudor architecture is in ruins (e.g., Tutbury Castle, located in Staffordshire, Hailes Abbey, Gloucestershire and Pontefract Castle, located in West Yorkshire). A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England also provides historical information about non-architectural attractions, such as the Mary Rose. The ship sank in July 1545, was excavated in 1982 and is now located in a Portsmouth Historic Dockyard museum.

Tudor food

Each chapter begins with a quote from Tudor times. Many chapters end with sidebars that provide information about Tudor life.

One discusses food in Tudor England, which included organic beef, mutton, game, fish, bread, ale and sweets, such as marzipan, but very few fruits and vegetables. The sidebar on Tudor clothing discusses laws created under Henry VIII that defined what each class of people could wear. For example, only the king and his family could wear purple silk.

Tudor games

The chapter on Shakespeare's birthplace, located in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, ends with information about Elizabethan theater. The sidebar on Tudor sports and pastimes describes Tudor games such as jousting, archery, tennis, bowls and closh. (What is it? Answer: Also called skittles, closh was an early form of bowling to knock down pins.)

As you read about the Tudor Age in England, you learn about Henry VIII and other Tudor kings and queens, including Mary I and Elizabeth I.

Tourist information

The 326-page book helps you plan your trip to England with information about each tourist attraction. For example, if you want to know how to get to the Tower of London, it tells you the closest tube stop (Tower Hill). If you want the opening hours for Glastonbury Tor and Abbey, Somerset, it tells you that they are open all day for the entire year.

You will also find London travel information, such as the location of public car parking at Guildhall (on London Wall, Barbican and Aldersgate). Of special interest, if you are planning to travel to England to visit these Tudor attractions, are the addresses, phone numbers, websites and availability of shops, restaurants and access for disabled visitors.

Reading list

Also useful for visitors planning an England tour is the list of recommended books. Topics range from architectural guides to Henry VIII and other Tudor kings.

A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England includes no photos, but each chapter begins with a black-and-white sketch of tourist attractions, such as Westminster Abbey and things to see in them, e.g., Tudor portraits in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

A Visitor's Companion to Tudor England by Suzannah Lipscomb


London and Greater London
  • The Tower of London
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Charterhouse
  • Lincoln's Inn
  • Guildhall
  • Eltham Palace
  • Richmond Palace, Surrey
  • Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
South East
  • St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire
  • The Mary Rose, Hampshire
  • Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire
  • The Vyne, Hampshire
  • Hever Castle, Kent
  • Leeds Castle, Kent
  • Penshurst Place, Kent
  • Rochester Castle, Kent (with Allington Castle)
  • Christ Church College, Oxford, Oxfordshire
  • Broad Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire
  • Losely Park, Surrey
  • Arundel Castle, West Sussex
South West
  • Pendennis and St. Mawes Castles, Cornwall
  • Buckland Abbey, Devon
  • Sherborne Castle, Dorset (Sandford Orcas Manor House)
  • Hailes Abbey, Gloucestershire
  • Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire
  • Thornbury Castle, Gloucestershire
  • Glastonbury Tor and Abbey, Somerset
  • Montacute House, Somerset
West Midlands
  • Ludlow Castle, Shropshire (with Castle Lodge)
  • Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire
  • Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire
  • Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
  • Harvington Hall, Worcestershire
East Midlands
  • Bosworth Battlefield, Leicestershire
  • Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire
  • Burghley House, Lincolnshire
  • Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire (with Holdenby House)
East of England
  • St. John's and Trinity Colleges, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
  • Peterborough Cathedral, Cambridgeshire
  • Hatfield Old Palace, Hertfordshire
  • Kett's Oak, Wymondham, Norfolk
  • The Shrine at Walsingham, Norfolk
  • St. Mary's Church, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk
  • The Church of St. Michael, Framlingham, Suffolk (with Framlingham Castle)
North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Gawsworth Hall, Cheshire
  • Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire
  • The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Merseyside
  • Pontefract Castle, West Yorkshire
  • Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire (with Whitby Abbey)
Appendix: Opening Times and How to Get There


Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb is a consultant at Hampton Court Palace and the author of 1536: The Year that Changed Henry VIII.

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