The history of Hartlebury Castle.

The land that Hartlebury sits on was granted to the Bishop of Worcester by King Burghred in the late 9th century, although the foundations of the building that now stands here is believed to date back to the 13th century. Since that time it has been a centre of ecclesiastical and administrative power in Worcestershire with its resident bishops involved in some of the major events of British history.

Hartlebury Castle tells the story of the bishops of a major see and their evolving role in English society, from political and military guardians of a frontier with Wales to active participants in political decision making in modern times. They number a pope (Clement VII) who played a key role in precipitating the establishment of the Church of England; Bishops Latimer and Hooper, Protestant martyrs of the Reformation; and Bishop Hurd, friend to King George III and creator of the Hurd Library.

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Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust

Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust was formed with the purpose of preserving, for the benefit of the people of Worcestershire and of the UK, Hartlebury Castle, its gardens, grounds, parkland and historic contents including The Hurd Library. In March 2015 the Trust purchased Hartlebury Castle with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Trust has worked tirelessly to fundraise and garner support to save Hartlebury Castle for future generations. Their work has only just started though as they now work to restore Hartlebury and transform the Castle into a unique and sustainable visitor attraction.

The Trust is a registered charity which relies on the hard work and support of volunteers. It is governed by a board of Trustees currently chaired by Jacqui Watson and has a growing team of volunteers.

Museums Worcestershire

Museums Worcestershire is the joint museum service of Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council. As well as managing the County Museum, which has been based at Hartlebury Castle since 1966, they have provided support, advice and funding for the Hartlebury Castle project. The County Museum will remain open throughout the development work and will form an integral part of the new Hartlebury site.


We want Hartlebury Castle to grow into a major visitor attraction for Worcestershire. Our ambitious plans need your help and support and every donation has an impact on what the Trust is able to achieve.

There are a number of ways that you can donate to the project:



This is your opportunity to get involved and help us turn Hartlebury Castle into something really special. We couldn’t manage without our fantastic volunteers and we’re always looking for new people to join our friendly teams.

All you need is enthusiasm and a smile.


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