Warwick, Warwickshire, England
Warwick Castle sits on a bend of the River Avon on the outskirts of the town of Warwick in the centre of England.
The castle is set in a large estate of wood, parkland and formal gardens. The exceptionally well restored castle is built over differing heights and consists of a large machicolated country mansion style castle with towers surrounded by a curtain wall.
The castle is open every day (except Christmas) from 10am.
As well as visiting the interior of the castle with its Great Hall, Staterooms and Dungeons, the castle was many themed experiences ‘The King Maker’ exhibition where visitors can experience the sights, sounds and smells of medieval life and how the Earl of Warwick prepares for battle and the ‘Royal Weekend party’, which uncovers the secrets of a Victorian household and its guests including Winston Churchill. The room has been set out exactly it was in 1898 including the original furniture.
The castle also has several themed evening dining events with traditional food, wine and entertainment as well as shops and many places to purchase all kinds of food and drinks. There are also attractions such the Princess’ towers, giant catapults and battle reenactments throughout the year.
Many of the castles rooms are also licensed for civil wedding ceremonies and receptions from the Great Hall to the State Dining Room.
Warwick Castle was constructed by William the Conqueror as a Norman motte and bailey castle in 1068 and the de Beaumont family, later Earls of Warwick were made custodians.
In 1153 the castle was lost to Henry of Anjou, although he later returned it to the family in recognition of their support. It was following these events that the castle was rebuilt in stone with a shell keep and a curtain wall. It was passed down through the family for many generations, and under Thomas, 11th Earl the defenses were significantly improved with the addition of a barbican, towers and gatehouse.
Following the death of the final member of the de Beaumont family the castle passed to the crown and more renovations and repairs were made. In 1547 the lands were granted to John Dudley, although the restoration work was by no means completed. The castle continued to fall into decay and despite two visits from Queen Elizabeth, Dudley did nothing to repair it instead he had a wooden building erected for her stay in.
Following his death the castle passed to the Greville family who spent vast amounts of money renovating and converting the castle into a country house. In anticipation of attacks from the Royalist during the Civil War the walls were raised and barricades built. After just two weeks the forces retreated and once again the castle was strengthened and improved.
Warwick Castle became an ancient monument and therefore protected against changes, it was obtained by the Tussauds Group in 1978 who performed extensive restoration for the castle to become one of England’s largest tourist attractions.
The castle was used in an episode of the television series ‘Most Haunted’ in 2006.
It is rumored that Caesar’s Tower also known as the Ghost Tower is haunted by one of the Greville family, Fulke, the Undercroft by a little girl and one of the bedrooms has the spirits from séances held by Daisy, Countess of Warwick.
Other Castles in the Area
Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire