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Warwick Castle: An Impressive Heritage of Chivalric Age in Great Britain




Perched on a beautiful sandstone bluff in a bend in the River Avon, Warwick Castle is one of Britain’s finest and best-preserved medieval castles. A picturesque building with a vast and impressive centuries-spanning heritage, it remains a popular destination for curious tourists and history buffs. Various shows and events are always held here, which makes the complex a perfect place to relax.

Warwick Castle
A view of the castle from the river Avon. Photo: DeFacto, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Warwick Castle
South-eastern facade of the castle. Photo: DeFacto, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The history of the castle began in 914, when an early Anglo-Saxon city was founded on this site. It was in fact an old fortified settlement, which became one of the links in the chain of fortifications built by the daughter of Alfred the Great, the almighty king of Wessex, to protect against the Danish invasion. This early settlement was strategically positioned to dominate the Fossa Road, which was an important trade route.

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle. Photo: © Chris’ Buet / geograph.org.uk (cc-by-sa/2.0)
Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle. Photo: Peter K Burian, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Warwick Castle played an important role in British history: the residence built by the king became a vital stronghold during the War of the Scarlet and White Roses and the English Civil War

Warwick Castle
View of the main buildings of the castle from the tower. Photo: Andrew Griffith from United Kingdom, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)
Warwick Castle
View of the castle from the tower. Photo: © Chris’ Buet / geograph.org.uk (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The original appearance of Warwick Castle began to take shape in 1068, when William the Conqueror ordered its construction. At that time, it was a wooden motte and bailey structure, the main purpose of which was to control the Midlands region.

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle. Photo: Peter Broster, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)
Warwick Castle
Main entrance and clock tower. Photo: Chris Nyborg, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Later, during the reign of King Henry II, the wooden structure was replaced by a more modern stone castle, which was mainly used to store provisions during the barons’ revolt of 1173-1174. During the 12th century, the castle changed owners many times, and also found itself at the center of many important and historical battles, conflicts and events.

Warwick Castle
Water mill. Photo: Cuttlunch / pixabay (Pixabay License)
Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle. Photo: Tony Hisgett / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Caesar’s Tower, built between 1330 and 1360

Warwick Castle
Caesar’s Tower. Photo: DeFacto, via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

In fact, Warwick Castle has been rebuilt many times over its long history. Some changes were made just to change the style, while others were out of necessity – for example, after a fire in 1871. Thus, the two huge eastern towers date from reconstructions carried out in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Great Hall was updated to the 14th century, and most of the interior, including the Grand Dining Room, was remade or created in the 18th century.

Warwick Castle
Castle interior. Photo: Nigel Swales / flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Warwick Castle
Castle interior. Photo: Paul Tomlinson / flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Warwick Castle
Castle interior. Photo: Paul Tomlinson / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Home to the Earls of Warwick until 1978, Warwick Castle is now open to visitors. Here you can tour the territory of the complex, learn about its history and enjoy the architecture. There are also many children’s activities, shows and attractions.

Warwick Castle
Castle interior. Photo: J E Theriot / flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Warwick Castle
Castle interior. Photo: John W. Schulze / flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Warwick Castle
Castle interior. Photo: Paul Tomlinson / flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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