The stone castle at Sudeley was mainly built in 1441 by Ralph Boteler, who had the castle confiscated by Edward IV. The King gave it to his brother, who later became Richard III. When Henry VII became king, the castle became his property, and he gave it to his uncle, Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford.
By the time Henry VIII succeeded, the castle was a property of the crown once again. Henry visited the castle in 1535 with his second queen, Anne Boleyn, but the castle had been unattended for sometime at that point. One contemporary historian said of Sudeley, "[it's] going to ruine, more's the pittie".
When Henry VIII died in 1547, his son, Edward VI gave it to Thomas Seymour, the boy-king's uncle. Seymour was made Lord of Sudeley and married Henry VIII's widow, Katherine Parr. During this time, a renewal of Sudeley began. Seymour had a new suite added to the castle for Katherine's private use, but only one room he had constructed remains today.
Seymour and his new wife moved to the castle, bringing with them ladies to attend the Queen Dowager, as well as gentlemen of the household and Yeomen of the Guard, bringing the total to over 100 people in residence at Sudeley. Another famous Tudor figure to live at the castle was Lady Jane Grey, whose stewardship had been arranged by Seymour.
Katherine personally directed the decorating of the rooms planned for the child she was carrying. A daughter, Mary, was born on August 30, 1548, but Katherine contracted puerperal fever and died on September 5. The exact fate of the child is not known.
Queen Katherine Parr was laid to rest in St. Mary's Chapel at Sudeley. Her grave was rediscovered in 1782 after the Castle and Chapel had been left in ruins by the English Civil War in the mid-17th century. The lead casket was opened and it was commented that the body was 'uncorrupted'. However, lack of attention led to the degradation of the remains, and the Queen was reinterred in 1817 by the Rector of Sudeley. The plaque next to the tomb was copied from the original inscription on the lead coffin. The effigy on the tomb was made in Victorian times.
Thomas Seymour's ambitions led to his arrest and trial on 33 counts against King and Crown. He was executed on March 20, 1549 and Sudeley passed to the Marquess of Northampton, Katherine Parr's brother William, but he was stripped of his titles and properties after the failure of John Dudley's plot to make Jane Grey Queen.
In 1554, Mary I gave Sudeley to John Brydges, Lord Chandos, and it remained in their family into Elizabeth's reign. Elizabeth I was entertained three times at Sudeley, including a spectacular feast in 1592 to celebrate the anniversary of the defeat of the Spanish Armada.