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Warwick Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Mota de Warewich

In the civil parish of Warwick.
In the historic county of Warwickshire.
Modern Authority of Warwickshire.
1974 county of Warwickshire.
Medieval County of Warwickshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SP283646
Latitude 52.27948° Longitude -1.58544°

Warwick Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle, and also as a certain Palace, and also as a probable Artillery Fort.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


A Medieval motte and bailey castle built in 1068 extended and rebuilt during the 13th and 14th century with 15th century additions. Alterations to the Bear and Clarence towers in the reign of Richard III to carry artillery. King James I granted the ruinous castle to Sir Fulke Greville in 1604 who converted it into a country house. It was rebuilt in 1863-66 and 1872. Boundary wall of late 18th century date. The castle was sold to Madame Tussaud's in 1978. (PastScape)

A castle at Warwick was begun by William I in 1068 as part of a plan to safeguard the Midlands. This castle was of the motte and bailey type and stands on a sandstone bluff overlooking a bend in the Avon where the river has cut away the rock to form a cliff. Except on this side the walls which surround the bailey are protected by a moat. The area enclosed by the walls is about 128m from NE to SW and about 82m wide. The motte, on which a keep formerly stood, forms the SW end of the enclosure, but the most formidable defences, built in the 14th century, are at the NE end. Here a central gatehouse tower with a barbican outside is connected by high curtain walls to two great angle towers. To the N are remains of 15th century fortifications. The SE side of the former bailey is occupied by the domestic buildings, which are 14th century and later in date. The castle would originally have had a wooden palisade on the bailey and motte. Timber was replaced by stone, presumably from the 12th century onwards. The modern walls on the motte incorporate probable 13th century masonry. The domestic buildings were placed on the securest side of the bailey and included a church (PRN 1951). Various alterations and additions were carried out from the 14th century until modern times. (Warwickshire HER)

Early site, probably dating from pre-Norman times. Much mediaeval work remains. Good C18 and later additions. In 1871 a fire gutted the Great Hall and East Wing, these being restored by Anthony Salvin. This castle, (containing a fine collection of antiques and works of art) is considered of very great national interest. Main block with C14 walls and vaulted undercroft. Caesan's tower and Guy's tower, the Gatehouse and its Barbican also C14. The curtain walls may date from this period. Bear and Clarence towers C15, left incomplete 1485 and later given battlements; probably intended as a stronghold within the castle similar to that at Raglan. Late C17 internal features include exceptional plasterwork and wood carvings to the Cedar Room by Roger and William Hurlbut, completed 1678. Altered 1753-5 by Lancelot Brown, who rebuilt the porch and stairway to the Great Hall. Porch extended forward and additional rooms built beside it, 1763-9, by Timothy Lightoler. Watergate tower restored by A Salvin 1861-3. (Listed Building Report)

The famous 'oubilette' is actually a cess pit for some internal garderodes - a fact Warwick Castle are probably well aware of although this does not stop them from describing it as a oubilette.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:08

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