Welcome back! As most of you know, I love my history and so this week I took a day trip to Warwick Castle, which I have never visited before. I have really wanted to go for years now but just never gotten around to going so this week I was super excited to make the trip!
- The building of the castle can be seen to date back to as early as 914 when Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred The Great, ordered the building of an earthen rampart in order to protect the small hip top settlement of Warwick from Danish invaders. However, Warwick Castle did not originally open until 1068, when William the Conqueror opened a Motte and Bailey fort. The castle was then owned by 5 generations of the Earls of Warwick, the first being Henry de Beaumont and the last Thomas, until 1242 when the estate was passed to Thomas’ sister Margaret, as Thomas died without heirs.
- The castle underwent some renovation in 1260 when the castle construction was replaced from wood to stone.
- Additionally, in 1350 Caesar’s Tower and the Dungeons were constructed and the Guy’s Tower completion followed in 1395.
- Warwick castle sustained a huge part in the English Wars of the Roses and was used for imprisonment and execution. Richard Neville, Kingmaker, died at the Battle of Barnet which meant the estate was awarded to George (Duke of Clarence) by his brother Edward VI.
- However, in 1478 the Duke was suspected of being a threat to Edward and therefore was imprisoned and later killed. Edward (Clarence’s son) retained the title of Earl of Warwick, however, he was the last Plantagenet king and therefore a potential threat to rival Tudor King, Henry VIII, and therefore was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
- in 1540, the castle saw even further developments with the addition of the Spy Tower and also there was an extension to the State Rooms.
- Elizabeth I visited the castle in 1572.
- It was not many years later, in 1642, that the castle was besieged during the Civil War. Royalist soldiers were taken to be imprisoned in the dungeons.
- 1763 saw the completion of the state dining room and further in 1786 there was a conservatory built.
- Queen Victoria also visited the Castle in 1858 and stayed for lunch, but only 13 years later the castle was damaged by a fire.
- The castle survived these turn of events and many others too, which I have not mentioned. Warwick castle remained under the stewardship of the Earls of Warwick and later the Greville Family as a private home until 1978 when the property was taken over by the Tussauds Group, which in 2007 became known as the Merlin Entertainments Group.
That was just a little brief history of the castle. There is so much detail and depth to the castle it is really amazing that the castle has withstood so much of history. I really enjoyed visiting the castle. It is a fantastic day out!
There is so much you can see and do. You can visit the Great hall, state rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms in the castle. You can even go in the guest bedroom, which, fun little fact, in 1969 Mick Jagger stopped in! You climb up to the top and get amazing views of the countryside. There is an exhibition on the Kingmaker which is really good to visit. You can take a tour around the dungeons and learn more about the imprisonments and executions.
One of my favourite parts of the day was a real time video of the history of the castle. I believe it was 15 minutes, and it you go through various rooms, watching an animated video which goes the history of the castle and the important dates and information. I really enjoyed this part and it was such an interesting way to learn more about the castle.
The grounds are huge too and it is so lovely and peaceful walking around and exploring them. You can visit and learn about a Trebuchet. You can take a trip down to the mill and engine rooms as well as climb up Caesar’s Tower which has something like more than 500 steps. The views are great though!
If you go in the summer, I know that they put on lots of events too so there are lots of other things you can visit and do other than the traditional stuff.
Another thing I really enjoyed was the Horrible Histories Maze. This is so much fun! It takes you through 6 key periods in history and you have to find the different stamp for each of the periods. It is so fun and would be very entertaining for the children too!
I really enjoyed visiting the castle. There is just so much you can do and see and it was so much fun. I seriously had the best time and I really want to re-visit because I am sure there is even more knowledge and history I can learn. A great day out if you’re interested in this sort of thing.. Would definitely recommend!
I hope you have enjoyed this slightly different post and thank you so much for reading. I have inserted a few photos from visit below. Enjoy! Much love,
P.S. I forgot to mention there was actually a wedding taking place on the day I visited so that was really cool and also why some of the photos of the rooms are set up for a wedding!