In celebration of my upcoming April 10th book release, “I, John Culpepper,” I’m posting bits and pieces about the people and places you will read about in the Culpepper Saga. The four-book saga is based upon my 10th great grandfather, and most of the names and locations are real. The first three blogs about the story are available here, here, and here. This blog is about the homes John spent time in between 1606 and 1634.
Our hero, John Culpepper, was born into a very wealthy family. He was born at Greenway Court in Hollingbourne in the county of Kent. His family moved away when he was only five years old, but he eventually returned to the home when his brother Thomas married and set up house there. In the book, the old house drug up a lot of feelings and memories of John’s childhood that he had long forgotten. The home is still standing and is privately owned today.
From the age of five until he went away to law school, John lived at Astwood Court in Feckenham in the county of Worcester. The home originally belonged to his great uncle Martin and was left to his father. John’s mother died in the house when John was just a child. The home is still standing and is privately owned today.
As a young boy John spent many summers at his grandfather’s estate of Wigsell Manor in Salehurst, Sussex. The 600-acre property was the stuff boy’s dreams are made of. The home is still standing and is privately owned today.
John’s uncle Sir Alexander Culpepper owned Leeds Castle in Maidstone, Kent. Alexander inherited the house through his wife Mary, the widow of Sir Anthony St. Leger. In 1552, the house was granted to the St. Leger family, and following the Culpepper ownership 1632-1710, it was transferred into the Fairfax family through marriage. It was built in the early 1100s and was once the home of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. It is now open to the public as a tourist attraction. You can visit Leeds Castle’s website here.