Meeting - April 2015

Friday, 24 April 2015 - 7:30pm
From Hartlebury to Heaven
Mary Arden-Davis

The story of the Bishops of Worcester - a PowerPoint presentation.


Mary Arden-Davis is a active member of “The Friends of Hartlebury”, a group dedicated to the saving of Hartlebury Castle for the benefit of the public in the future and her talk included an in depth history dating from the 13th Century right up until 2007.
Hartlebury Castle had been the traditional home of the Bishops of Worcester but in 2008 Bishop Inge removed the official residence of the Bishops of Worcester to a site near to Worcester Cathedral and Hartlebury Castle became redundant to the church’s needs.
In 1964 the north wing of Hartlebury had been taken over by Worcestershire County Council to create a County Museum which in fact opened in 1966.
In 2010 the BBC reported that Hartlebury Castle was to be put up for sale and that many local Worcestershire people were anxious to prevent it falling into the hands of private developers. They therefore formed the Hartlebury  Castle  Preservation Trust or HCPT as it is now frequently known as. The reason for this action was to preserve the various special collections which had been acquired over many years; particularly the famous “Hurd Library” which had been built up by Bishop Hurd in 1782 and which many folk believed should remain at Hartlebury.
Campaigners were given until 2011 to raise something in excess of  £2million and in 2012 it was reported that HCPT had agreed to pay £2.45 million for the freehold of the property which included the buildings, garden and parkland. In 2014 HCPT together with Worcestershire County Council and Museums Worcestershire managed to obtain £5 million lottery funding and have been able to save this historic property. Therefore we should all take every opportunity to visit Hartlebury Castle, and encourage our friends to do so, in honour of all of those dedicated folk who have worked so hard to save it for us and our children.

Brian Sadler