"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on August 13, 2018 by Sioux under General
2 Comments

 

Scouring Google maps is an excellent way of making new discoveries! I found Warwick Castle, which was not far from where I was staying.

 

As it was raining softly but steadily, I headed to the station and took myself off to Warwick for the day. 

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                                                                                              The positioning of Warwick Castle wasn’t by accident; it was very strategically placed as it is in the centre of the country and is 

quick and easy to reach from all 4 points of the compass. Being on the banks of the Avon also provided a natural defence line as well as ease of transportation. Located on a sandstone cliff also provided tactical advantages in battle as well as a 2nd natural defence line.

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Walking from Warwick Station, I passed by The New Bowling Green, a 15th century pub near to the castle. I was tempted to make a detour due to the rain and cold but pushed onwards to the castle.

The castle’s history reaches back almost 11 centuries. Starting in 914, when an earthen rampart was built to protect the small hill top settlement of Warwick. A wooden motte and bailey fort was constructed on the hill in 1068, to be replaced by a stone castle in 1260, with Caesar’s Tower and the dungeon added in 1350.

 

The twelve-sided, 39m high Guy’s Tower has 5 storeys and was completed in 1395. One can only wonder as

to how the stones were hauled up to that height without the assistance of cranes! 

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The mound is the oldest surviving feature of Warwick Castle, dating back to the original construction in 1068. 

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The 13th Earl of Warwick, who died in 1439 aged 47, was considered to have been the greatest jouster in English history. Legend has it that he was never beaten. The vast collection of armour on display in the Great Hall at Warwick Castle was predominantly his.  

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During 1871, a fire damaged the Great Hall and some private apartments before

being controlled. The castle was electrified in 1890, when the Mill was converted to an electricity generating plant; with extensive renovations being done in 2002. The castle is now open to the public and hosts many events revealing tales of battle, siege, murder, power struggles and hauntings. 

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The Queen Anne bedroom, so named in 1773 when the bed was given to the 1st Earl of Warwick. The bed is said to be the actual one in which Queen Anne died in 1714. 

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Guy’s porridge pot is a massive 16th century ball-metal cauldron and holds around 545 litres. 

 

Originally used for cooking of potage (a thick, coarse, spicy soup) used to feed the garrisons, it was used during the 17th century as a punch bowl. 

 

On the occasion of the 21st birthday of the 2nd Earl of Warwick, the pot as refilled 3 times with a brandy & rum based punch! 

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The 18th century Genoese chandelier originally lit the State Dining Room with the light of 42 candles. It was converted to electricity in 2016.  

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Many of the rooms are decorated in period style; with life size wax models making the place come alive.

 

Seeing Winston Churchill as a young man, seemingly deep in conversation with two other gentlemen of the time was surreal to say the least! 

Edward, Prince of Wales, Queen Victoria’s 2nd son, had a number of mistresses, one of whom was Daisy 5th Countess of Warwick.

 

It is believed she was the inspiration for the song ‘Daisy Bell’ aka ‘Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do…’; which was written in 1892.

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The magnificent ‘Kenilworth Buffet’ on display in The Great Hall was carved in 1831, from a single oak tree, felled in the gardens of Kenilworth Castle. The carvings represent scenes from Sir Walter Scott’s novel Kenilworth. 

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From the castle I walked through the ancient streets and visited the old St Nicholas Church, a unique late 18th century church building. The present church was built in 1785, replacing a decaying mediaeval church. 

Not too far off is the medieval building known as ‘The Eastgate’, which was one of three gateways into the town of Warwick.

 

In the 15th century the Chapel of St Peter was built above the gate. It was altered and refaced in the 18th century.

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I walked up the hill to St Marys Church but it was locked, and as it was raining quite heavily, I headed back to the station and to Stratford.

 

A wet but amazing day out; and the perfect way to end my time in Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Just in front of the gate is a pillar box post-box cast in the shape of a Doric column. It is one of 2 which were cast in 1856 and installed at the East and West gates of Warwick.

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2 responses to “Instead of building castles against your enemies, build bridges for them to come to you – Stratford upon Avon the final”

  1. Charles Twigger says:

    Amazing how much you managed to pack in to your comparitively short stay! Once again an amazing set of photos I got locked in Warwick Castle once at night It’s a long story…

  2. Cheryl Wilkinson says:

    Awesome history thank you S! Your pictures are amazing and certainly captures everything about the Castle!

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