Warwick Castle, England

In the heartland of England is the beautiful Medieval Town of Warwick ,Capital of Warwickshire close to the Cotswolds, part of the town was destroyed by fire in 1694 replaced by Queen Anne buildings the architecture of medieval to present day buildings with history around every corner is a must see for the culture vulture.

Warwick Castle overlooking the River Avon, lies in the town Warwick, county of Warwickshire, in central England. It is traditionally associated with the earldom of Warwick, one of the oldest in England. The castle today is a popular tourist attraction and attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Legend has it that the first fortification of significance on the grounds of Warwick Castle was erected by the daughter of king Alfred the Great, in the year 914. This almost certainly replaced older wooden fortifications which had proven ineffective against marauding Danes who sacked the town during the reign of her father. This fortification was part of a network built to protect the Kingdom of Wessex.

The remains of this ancient fortification can still be seen on Ethelfleda’s Mound, a mound of earth at the southern end of the castle’s courtyard. As intriguing as this early fortification is, the majority of the remains date from the period of Norman rule.

After the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century, William the Conqueror appointed Henry de Newburgh as Earl of Warwick. During this time, a Norman motte-and-bailey fort was erected.

Birth of a castle
In the year 1264, the castle was seized by the forces of Simon de Montfort, who consequently imprisoned the current Earl, William Maudit, and his countess at Kenilworth (who subsequently were supporters of the king and friends to the barons) until a ransom was paid.

After the death of William Maudit, the title and castle were passed to William de Beauchamp. Following the death of William de Beauchamp, Warwick Castle passed through seven generations of the Beauchamp family, who over the next 180 years were largely responsible for the majority of the additions made to Warwick Castle.

After the death of the last direct-line Beauchamp, Anne, the title, Earl of Warwick, and castle passed to Richard Neville (“the Kingmaker”), who married the sister of the last Earl (Warwick was unusual in that the earldom could be inherited through the female line). Warwick Castle subsequently passed from Neville to his son-in-law (and brother of Edward IV of England), George Plantagenet, and shortly before the Duke’s death, to his son, Edward.

Modern times
After passing through the hands of 20 more Earls (and three more creations of the title), Warwick Castle has now become a member of the Treasure Houses of England, a heritage consortium founded in the early 1970s by ten of the foremost stately homes in England still in private ownership, with the aim of marketing and promoting themselves as tourist venues. In 1978, Warwick Castle was sold to the Tussauds Group, a large visitor attraction business. The Tussauds Group have performed extensive restorations to the castle and grounds as well as opening its gates to the public.

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