A country full of history of war and monarchy, England is one of the countries that preserved their records from the past. Aside from the splendid landscapes and lovely architectures, museums and castles are the most visited places throughout this country.
One of them is the Warwick Castle, a well-preserved and restored castle and now a tourist attraction in Warwickshire county. Less than two hours away from London, this is another place you must visit when you go to England. If you love learning about history and reliving the past, this is one of the best places to be!
It all started in 914 when the daughter of Alfred the Great named Ethelfleda built the first walled building on the site. By the year 1068, William the conqueror first built the castle. In 1088, the first Earl of Warwick was appointed to be in command of the place. “Earl” is a prestigious title given to a British nobleman during the late Old English period. The castle remained under their supervision until 1978 when the Tussaud Group bought it from the Greville Family and opened to the public for the Royal Weekend Party in 1982. Today, it is under the management of the Merlin Entertainments Group and doing their best to amaze every visitor of the Warwick Castle.
I was fortunate to witness this magnificent place last August with my family a week before I go back to the Philippines. Indeed, every minute I’ve spent in there was never wasted! And until now, I can remember every experience I had.
Booking your ticket at least five days in advance will give you a good deal for their Day Ticket. They have two types; the castle Ticket and Castle plus Dungeon Ticket. However, if you were not able to book online, you can just pay at the gate, although it will be at a higher price.
As you enter the gate, a garden will welcome you with friendly peacocks walking around the area, hence, it is called the Peacock Garden. They also have a schedule of events that will keep you entertained the entire day. If you don’t feel like watching all of them, you can just walk around and explore the whole castle.
The Birds of Prey
The first show that we watched was about the birds of prey. Surprisingly, these massive birds have their own personalities (just like my cats), and some of them were a bit funny, too. Though personally, I think that they should be out in the wild, but then, I could still say they were very well taken care of.
The Jousting Competition
Another show that I enjoyed was the jousting competition. Basically, it is a role play of the story of Richard Neville, also known as “the kingmaker.” This is not just an ordinary role play because they were really riding horses and acting like it was truly them. The most entertaining part of it was when they made the crowd participate like a real part of the play.
After we finished our lunch under the trees, we went to a maze. Another fun activity that you will definitely enjoy and learn about the different eras of the United Kingdom.
Bear Tower and Time Tower
There’s also a part of the castle where they said they put the bears and torture them. Another is the Time Tower which was my most favorite. Using modern technology, this is like a tiny museum with spectacular effects that will help you understand the history of the castle from the very start when the wooden structure was built until the present time. Where else can you find paintings on the wall talking to each other?
It’s said to be one of the oldest parts of the Warwick Castle, the mound is a perfect place to see the stunning view of the surrounding area of the castle. This is where the first walled building was built by the queen warrior Ethelfleda.
Warwick Castle has two ramparts, which were used for defense; the Guy’s Tower and Caesar’s Tower. The initial tower was built, Guy’s Tower is the first tower that will welcome you when you enter the castle ground. When you climb in this tower, it will directly lead you to the next tower which is the Caesar’s Tower. Be mindful that if you enter these towers, you will have to finish it until the end because it is just a one-way route. The stairs and pathways are only good for one person and are quite high so it would be difficult to go back if you change your mind. Even so, it’s worth the hike, especially when you reach the rampart which will show you the exquisite surrounding of the castle.
The Water Mill
Outside the eastern castle walls, you’ll find the water mill that was purposely built to grind grain for flour during 1398. Later on, they used it as an electricity generating plant when an engine was added to it. Now, it is also a part of the attraction in the castle.
Horrible Histories at Warwick Castle
No, it was not a horrible show (that’s what I thought when I first heard it, but no, in fact, it was really fun!). Horrible Histories as Warwick Castle was a show where actors performed live on stage about the history of the said castle. With enthusiastic music and animated actors, this was another show that never made me bored.
The Great Trebuchet
This is also known as a catapult, a machine used for war during the medieval period. The trebuchet in Warwick Castle is the largest still working siege weapon in the world. It usually hurled large projectiles like rocks but also manure and dead animals to spread disease. I would say, this was the main event of the day because everyone waited for it. It wasn’t an easy task to run this machine even it is just a replica, it was operated by few people and will take minutes before they can release the fireball. Even so, it is amazing to know that this kind of weapon was used for war way, way back then. Imagine this massive piece of wood and metals that’s very destructive and dangerous! and when they fired it, everyone was astonished on how high and how far it could go. However, it was also the indication that the day in the Warwick Castle was over for the rest of us.
A day well spent in Warwick Castle, something that I would visit again in the future. If you are into history as well, this is a place where you’ll enjoy especially with your family.
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