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Warwick Castle :: Warwickshire, England

May 31, 2010 by  
Category: Landmarks

The amazing Warwick Castle is England’s finest medieval castle and for nine centuries was at the heart of British history. Originally built in 1068 to keep people out, today the castle is England’s second most visited castle behind only Windsor. The fortress was used as a defensive fortification until the early 17th century when Sir Fulke Greville converted the property into a country home. Throughout the years the castle has undergone various structural changes including being rebuilt in stone during Henry II, additional towers added and redesigned residential buildings. Did we also mention that it’s haunted?

Warwick Castle has been the subject to various ghost stories. Fulke Greville is said to haunt the Watergate tower and the castle even features a short live-action show, “Warwick Ghosts Alive”, telling the story of his murder. It has also been the focus of a 2006 episode of the television show “Most Haunted” which investigated three rumored haunt sites within the castle grounds. The castle grounds are loaded with amazing architecture and beauty including the Conservatory & Peacock Garden, Victorian Rose Garden and “The Mound”, first built in 1068 on orders of William the Conqueror to form the most important part of the Norman castle’s defense system. Inside the castle, be sure to visit the Great Hall, the largest room and the heart of the castle throughout its history. There is also the Chapel that Fulke Greville had added in the early 1600s and the State Rooms which retain portions of the medieval castle and are lavishly decorated displaying the most prestigious possessions. Thanks to an ongoing restoration program visitors are able to walk through most of the rooms themselves and see these amazing artifacts closer than ever before.

A combination of history and theme park fun, Warwick Castle holds a plethora of entertaining events and exhibits throughout the year. From Jousting events where visitors can cheer on the Warwick knights as they do battle, to Dungeons after Dark which lets visitors explore the historical dungeons of Warwick under the cloak of darkness. Warwick Castle’s newest exhibit is “The Castle Dungeon” which takes you back to 1345, when the town was gripped by the plague. Truly bringing history to life, visitors will be greeted by decaying bodies, torture tools, chanting monks and “the labrynth of lost souls” an awesomely spine tingling mirror maze.

The castle’s “Military Zone” lets visitors see some of the most interesting castle warefare contraptions. Visitors can view the world’s largest siege machine, the Trebuchet, or give a shot at armed combat with the Warwick Warriors. Another highlight of the area is an artillery fort built in 1478, Clarence Tower, which give visitors a glimpse of what the cramped and extremely noisy working conditions the soldiers were subject to. Need to entertain the kiddies? Warwick Castle’s Pageant Playground and Princess Tower are the perfect place for the kids to let off some steam. Pageant Playground gives the kids a fortress-like environment full of ropes, swings, nets, ramps, slides and much more. There is even a mini playground for the even the tiniest feet to enjoy. The Princess Tower is home to Princess Arabella, Warwick Castle’s very own fairytale princess and if filled with magic and delight.

Warwick Castle is open most of the year, from January 1 through April 1 it is open from 10 AM to 5 PM and then from April 2 through October 2 from 10 AM to 6 PM. Plan on spending at least 4-5 hours at the castle in order to enjoy everything it has to offer. One day tickets not including The Castle Dungeon will run you a little under $30 for adults, $18 for kids 4-16 and $20 for seniors; one day tickets including The Castle Dungeon will run you around $40 for adults, $28 for children 4-16 and $30 for seniors.

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