Warwick Castle is widely considered to be the best medieval castle in England, and as such, it gets more than its fair share of visitors on an annual basis. Found in the county town of Warwick, this immaculate edifice has a history that stretches back more than 1,000 years, and it all begins with the building of a fortification in 914. Another fortification of sorts was constructed on the site in 1068 at the ordering of William the Conquerer, though it was sacked and laid to waste in 1264. Work on the castle that visitors see today began around the mid-fourteenth century, with the famed Warwick Castle Dungeon being among the main additions.
The powerful Beauchamp family, a member of which supervised the trial and subsequent execution of Joan of Arc, were owners of Warwick Castle during its most significant renovation period. That being said, Sir Fulke Greville spent a rather large sum of money on the castle buildings when he converted the edifice into a mansion in the early 1600s. By this point, it had actually fallen into a dilapidated state. Greville was eventually murdered by a servant, and for those who like ghost stories, his spirit is said to haunt his former lodging quarters.
The Greville family maintained possession of Warwick Castle England for some time. In 1978, it was sold to The Tussaud's Group, and just four years later, the renowned Royal Weekend Party attraction opened. This attraction is quite unique, to say the least. It features wax figures, some of which depict famous personalities from English history. There is a young version of Winston Churchill, for example, and you can witness a likeness of King Edward VII reading a letter.
Other things that you can expect to see on a tour of Warwick Castle are private apartment units that were used by Greville family members, a Great Hall that is full of priceless relics, the armory, the haunted ghost tower, and the torture chamber. Also of interest is the recreated Victorian rose garden, and you might keep the Warwick Castle events in mind when planning a visit. These events include haunted house presentations in the Warwick Castle Dungeon, theme dinners, historic shows, and special romantic celebrations that cater to couples. Actors wearing period costumes are usually on hand for the various events.
There is a lot to see and do at Warwick Castle, as is true of many other castles in England, Scotland, and Wales, so you will want to dedicate at least a few hours to your visit. The castle is open every day of the year, save for Christmas Day, and since the hours vary, checking the schedule in advance is recommended. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing time.
Warwick is approximately 90 miles northwest of London, and it makes an excellent day trip destination from the capital. When you're not inspecting the castle and perhaps enjoying one of its numerous events, heading to the historic center of old Warwick is recommended. It is a lovely place to explore, and this has a lot to do with its historic architecture. Should you be interested, the Tourist Information Centre in Warwick can be found at the Court House on Jury Street. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day of the year except for a few days during the Christmas and New Year season.