Skip to content ↓


    Kimbolton Castle Tudor WindowKatherine of Aragon

    By the 1520s the Castle belonged to the Wingfield family, who had it rebuilt as a Tudor manor house. Parts of this building can still be seen, behind a glass panel in the wall of the Red Room and especially in the corridor near the Chapel.
    After her divorce from Henry VIII, Katharine of Aragon arrived at Kimbolton in May 1534. She spent the last months of her life as a semi-prisoner in her rooms in the south-west corner of the Castle, attended by a few loyal servants. We can only guess what the rooms looked like at the time: their present appearance dates from the 18th century.
    When Katharine of Aragon died in January 1536, probably from cancer, her body was carried in procession to the Abbey (now Cathedral) at Peterborough for burial. Of course, she is said to haunt the Castle.

    Sir John Popham

    Sir John Popham, after whom the Popham Gallery above the Chapel is named, is believed to have lived in the Castle around 1600, and his portrait now hangs in the Queen's Room. After a colourful early life, when he is said to have been a highwayman, he became Lord Chief Justice and is best remembered as the judge at the trial of Guy Fawkes. Local legend claims that he threw his baby daughter to her death from a window overlooking the courtyard, and he is, not surprisingly, the subject of several Kimbolton ghost stories.

    Edward Montagu

    In 1615 the Castle was bought by Sir Henry Montagu, whose portrait can be seen in the Saloon, and underwent yet more rebuilding. Sir Henry's descendants owned the Castle until 1950, when it was bought by Kimbolton School. Sir Henry became the 1st Earl of Manchester, and his son, Edward, the 2nd Earl, was one of the Castle's most famous inhabitants. He was a leading Parliamentarian and Oliver Cromwell's superior officer during the early part of the Civil War. A famous portrait of him, by Sir Peter Lely, hangs above the fireplace in the Saloon.