Warwick Castle

History Project Digital Presentation

There has been a defensive outpost on the banks of the River Avon since 978. Warwick Castle dates from 1068 and was built by William the Conqueror. It is located in Warwickshire, England.

Warwick castle was originally built by William the Conqueror in order to maintain control of the midlands as he advanced Northwards. It was later used as a symbol of the power of the Earl of Warwick and to hold prisoners, but it is now used as a tourist attraction.

The first Earl of Warwick was Henry de Beaumont, but the most famous and well-known resident of the castle was the 16th Earl of Warwick, Richard Neville. He was known as Warwick the Kingmaker. The last resident of the castle was David Robin Francis Guy Greville. He sold it to Madame Tussauds, a wax sculpture company, who then sold it to Merlin Entertainment Company.

Warwick castle is now being used as a tourist attraction. People can take tours of the castle and there are also different exhibits, such as Kingmaker, a tour of what life was like during the reign of the Kingmaker complete with wax statues, a princess tower for little girls, a castle dungeon much like the tower of London house of horrors telling the grotesque story of life in the dungeons, and a working trebuchet, much like a catapult.

Interesting facts about the castle

  • The original motte-and-bailey design was upgraded to stone during the reign of King Henry II
  • During the time of the Wars of the Roses, Richard Neville imprisoned King Edward IV in Warwick castle dungeons
  • Richard III ordered for two gun towers to be added to Warwick castle in the 1480's. They were known as the Bear tower and the Clarence tower
  • In the 16th century, a separate tower was built for Queen Elizabeth the first when she visited
  • There have been 36 different owners of Warwick castle since it was built

The original castle ,built by William the Conqueror, had a motte-and-bailey design. A motte-and-bailey castle is situated on raised earthwork called a motte and has an enclosed courtyard, the bailey. It was built with unskilled, often forced labor. The Normans introduced this design to England.

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