Five Tudor treats

  • 2 October 2013

From Henry VII to Elizabeth I, the Tudor monarchs presided over one of England's defining eras. Here's our guide to some of the greatest houses of the period.

1. Cotehele House, Cornwall
Free entry with National Art Pass

In the woods above the River Tamar nestles Cotehele, built by the Edgcumbes family in Tudor times and adorned with tapestries, textiles, arms and armour, pewter, brass and old oak furniture. The gardens are as impressive as the interiors, with traditionally planted terraces, a medieval stewpond and a new orchard featuring local varieties of apple.

2. Burghley House, Lincolnshire
Reduced price with National Art Pass

Burghley, near Stamford in Lincolnshire, has been the home of the Cecil Family for over 400 years and is one of England's greatest Elizabethan houses. The house is home to many great works of art, including a significant collection of 17th-century Italian paintings, exceptional 18th-century furniture, and one of the earliest Western collections of Japanese ceramics.

3. Temple Newsam, West Yorkshire
Free entry with National Art Pass

Known as the 'Hampton Court Palace of the North', Temple Newsam was the birthplace of Lord Darnley, husband of Mary Queen of Scots. Sited on the outskirts of Leeds on ground once owned by the Knights Templar, it lies in 1,500 acres of parkland landscaped by 'Capability' Brown and houses some of the country's most comprehensive collections of art and craft outside London.

4. Hellens Manor, Herefordshire
Reduced price with National Art Pass

Hellens Manor is a living monument to England's history, home to artefacts associated with the Tudor dynasty and featuring gardens redeveloped along Tudor and Jacobean lines. Built as a monastery at the end of the 13th century and developed extensively in the Tudor era, Hellens is famed for its supposedly haunted room prepared for Mary Tudor and her tutor Fetherstone.

5. Sherborne Castle, Dorset
Reduced price with National Art Pass

Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 and home to the Digby family since 1617, Sherborne Castle is a magnificent stately home that retains many features of its Tudor past, from Raleigh's original kitchen and family artefacts to Robert Peake the Elder's famous Procession of Queen Elizabeth I.