Snape Castle: Katherine Parr’s prison
Dr Estelle Paranque reveals why Katherine Parr’s idyllic family home was transformed into her hated prison…
Katherine Parr was living in Snape Castle in 1537, during the Pilgrimage of Grace – one of the greatest rebellions in Henry VIII’s reign.
Her husband, John Latimer, had been participating in the Pilgrimage of Grace, leaving his children and his wife in Snape Castle. But when he was in London, people believed that he had turned his back on the rebels. The rebels in the north-west were so angry with him that they went to Snape Castle and imprisoned his wife, Katherine, and his children, John and Margaret Latimer, in their own home.
That was the hardest period Katherine Parr ever endured. Physically, she was unharmed, but mentally she was really suffering. She was scared for own life, as well as for her step-children’s lives and her husband’s life. She didn't know what was going to happen. Luckily, her husband managed to come back home and save the day, but it was a very hard time.
And so, I would like you to visit that castle and to imagine what it was like to be imprisoned in your own house, and try to link Katherine Parr to this space. I know that usually she is linked to Hampton Court Palace, but here is an opportunity for you to see that, before she became queen, she did not always enjoy an easy and beautiful life. She had to endure real hardship.
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