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Warwick Castle: Revisit 14th Century Wars & Europe

Updated on January 13, 2016

Bursting with tales of treachery, power struggles & politics, Warwick is much more than just a castle. The aura of the castle takes you back to the times of battle preparations, sword sharpening and soldiers looking through the battle helmet. Throughout the year, programs and events take place here including the largest trebuchet in the world in action!

Warwick Castle serves to be a striking venue for any organization to plan events and hold celebrations in an artistic way.

History

Developed from what was originally constructed in 1068 by William the Conqueror, Warwick Castle is a beautiful medieval castle situated in the county town of Warwickshire, near River Avon. He controlled the Midlands through the reconstructed stone structure. In 1088, Henry de Beaumont who was appointed as the constable of the castle was made the first Earl of Warwick.

The castle was reconstructed in stone and the wooden motte castle was replaced in the 12th century during the reign of King Henry II (1154–89). Remaining loyal to the King, while the baron’s rebellion was still ongoing between 1173 and 1174, the castle was used as a place to store provisions. In 1242, when the 6th Earl of Warwick, Thomas de Beaumont died, the lands and castle were given to his sister and the countess of Warwick, Lady Margery.

Different wars took place including the second war of baron’s. After William Mauduit died in 1267, the castle and the title were taken over by his nephew William de Beauchamp, the 9th Earl of Warwick. Once William died, seven generations of the Beauchamp family took over the Warwick Castle one generation after the other, making changes in the structure. Therefore, for over 180 years, all the major and minor changes in the architecture of the castle were made by the Beauchamp descendants. Piers Gaveston, the 1st Earl of Cornwall in 1312 was arrested by Guy de Beauchamp, who was the 10th Earl of Warwick, and was held captive in Warwick Castle until he was hanged on 9 June 1312. The reason for his execution was that he was blamed for stealing the royal treasure.

Being one of the most solid examples of 14th century military architecture, Warwick Castle continued to be used as a stronghold til the 17th century. Later, in 1604, it was granted to Sir Fulke Greville by James I who converted it into a county house. He became the Earl of Warwick in 1759 and remained so till 1978, after which the Tussauds Group bought the castle. Merging with Merlin Entertainment in 2007, the ownership went under the entertainment group.

Things To Do

Since the 17th century, Warwick castle has been open to visitors. However, it formally opened its doors as a tourist attraction in 1978 after being bought by the Tussauds group. Standing on a cliff rising from the Avon River, the castle provides majestic scenery and plenty of activities for families and friends to enjoy. By 1800, much of the exterior was changed as compared to the castle’s initial structure. How we see it today is somewhat like the castle during the 1800s. It currently ranks among the top tourist destinations in UK and known as the best castle in Britain.

Some of the attractions include Merlin: The Dragon Tower much loved by the visitors since it is based on a fantasy tales in which you encounter the proverbial Great Dragon. Besides, the Castle Dungeon experience promises a journey back to the “plague-stricken year of 1345” with decaying bodies, tortures and executions, chanting monks etc. For a chance to pair with Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick to prepare for the Battle of Barnet in 1471, The Kingmaker is a perfect activity for you. Try armed combat with Warwick Warriors, learning archery and polishing your targeting skills. Moreover, at Warwick you get a chance to explore the largest siege machine in the world and the Trebuchet, the most powerful catapult. At times it really feels like being in Europe’s darkest age!

Families love to enjoy wandering through the former private apartments, experiencing royalty and becoming a part of the high society for a day. A stroll through the Grand Interiors and a visit to the Georgian State Rooms is what tourists love to do. It really gives a glimpse into vintage royalty.

So experience the royalty, feel the reminiscence and dive in the aura of medieval times by taking a trip to one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world!

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful historical overview.

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