One of the first things a lot of people think about Britain is castles and mediaeval fortresses. Castles have played an important military, economic and social role in Great Britain and Ireland since their introduction following the Norman invasion of England in 1066.
Dramatically situated, packed with history and scattered throughout the land, there’s a castle for you whatever your particular interest. In our new series of posts we will be presenting some of the most magnificent British fortresses not to be missed on your travel routes. Starting with Warwick Castle….
It is hard to find a more castle-looking stronghold that the Warwick Castle. It has been compared with Windsor Castle in terms of scale, cost, and status.
Built by William the Conqueror in 1068, Warwick Castle was originally a wooden motte-and-bailey fort, but was rebuilt in stone in 1260 and expanded over the following centuries. It was temporarily captured by Simon de Montfort in 1264 and saw action during the English Civil War, when Royalist forces unsuccessfully lay siege to it. The castle was later used to hold prisoners taken by the Parliamentarians. Under the ownership of Richard Neville – also known as “Warwick the Kingmaker” – Warwick Castle was used in the 15th century to imprison the English king, Edward IV. It was used as a fortification until the early 17th century, when Sir Fulke Greville converted it to a country house and the grounds were turned into a garden.
The castle has been opened to tourists since 1978 and visitors can expect to see falconry displays and a twice daily firing of the castle’s trebuchet. Great attractions are also the ghost walks (the building is said to be occupied by a few).