Spend the Night in Your Ancestors’ Castle
Justin Hauge co-founded the “Storied Collection,” a company in England that connects travelers with stays in “historic and ancestral properties.”
There are 28 properties across England, Ireland, and Scotland that represent a combined 11,291 years of history. The Storied Collection team looked at the ages of the properties, the number of families who had owned them, and the average number offspring per generation, and estimated that more than 80 million people could be descendants of once-owners of the various luxury lodgings.
Those properties range from 13th-century castles to country manors to full-on hotels and fortresses. These aren’t your standard properties, unless you’re used to sleeping in stone towers and rooms with floor-to-ceiling tapestries and fireplaces. But if you find out you’re one of that huge number of people who may have royal blood, you may want to consider booking a trip to the castle where your ancestors once ruled the roost.
For example, if you’re a Thornbury, Tutor, deClare, Stafford, Howard, Boleyn, or Aragon, you’ve got some ancestral history at Thornbury Castle where you can sleep in the room of Henry VIII and the doomed Anne Boleyn. Its history dates to 1019. It was a home for Henry VIII and wife Anne Boleyn (in happier days, one assumes) and was owned by several key players in the game-changing War of the Roses in the mid-1400s. And at least one plot to murder a traitor to King Richard III took place within the castle’s walls.
Today, however, it’s a downright gorgeous castle with 15 acres of gardens and opportunities to sleep in the room shared by King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn or sleep in the tower used by Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England from 1509 to 1533. As with many of Henry VII’s wives, she was beheaded — but not in the tower, one assumes. Oh, and if you grew up in the 1980s or 1990s, you may have memories of a rumor: say “Bloody Mary” three times in a bathroom mirror and she’ll appear behind you. While that has yet to work at any sleepover, the actual “Bloody Mary” (Queen Mary I) did own this castle in the early 1530s.
You can read a lot more about this and other properties in an article by Suzie Dundas published in the Matador Network web site at: https://matadornetwork.com/read/castle-hotel/.
The “Storied Collection” may be found at: https://storiedcollection.com/.