Warwick Castle

    Anglo-Saxon earthworks at Warwick date to the 900s.  A motte and bailey castle was built in 1068 after Norman conquest, but stone began replacing wood in the 1100s.  During the Baron's War, the owner was loyal to the king, and the castle was stormed by forces from Kenilworth Castle.  There were new owners in 1268, the Beauchamps, allegedly distant ancestors of the webmaster through the Huddleston family.  There are relatively few castles in the Midlands, and a rivalry developed with Kenilworth Castle.  Warwick is most famous from the Wars of the Roses, when it was owned by Warwick the Kingmaker, a powerful and opportunistic earl.  Now, Tussauds Group owns the castle, which is one of the great tourist attractions in the country.



From Below the Castle

    The castle sits atop a steep slope above the River Avon, which effectively protects one side of the castle.  From here, you can see Caesar's Tower, the Gatehouse and Barbicon, and Guy's Tower.  An armoury was later added on the slope up from Caesar's Tower.  To help you keep track of the location of everything, see the map page.

    Caesar's Tower, built in the 1300s, is unusual in that it is not round, but rather has a cloverleaf shaped.  And top its three main stories is another story in the form of a small guardhouse.  The Machicolations near the top of Caesar's Tower projecting over the side could be used to drop any number of lethal items on attackers.  The thick sloped base is called a plinth.  It is designed to be too substantial to destroy by blows or by mining, and it also could shatter rocks dropped from above into a greater number of fragments.


Gatehouse and Barbicon

  The picture on the top left was taken from Guy's Tower.  The Gatehouse and Barbicon are prominent, and Caesar's Tower is beyond the gatehouse.  It is clear from this view that the castle sits on a cliff, and you can even see the area where the photos below the castle were taken, near the Tudor style houses. 

    The photo on the top right is from inside the entrance to the castle, looking up to the Gatehouse.  The Barbicon helps to protect the main entrance, which included a drawbridge across the moat and two portcullises, one at the Barbicon and one at the Gatehouse itself.  The entrance is also covered by fire from either side, including from Guy's Tower, and from from murder holes above.


Guy's and Caesar's Towers

     The picture on the left is from the Gatehouse and is of Guy's Tower.  Arrow slits dominate the curtain wall so that an attacker that had managed to scale the wall probably wouldn't be able to hold it.  Visible to the right of the tower are stables - the kind that only the filthy rich can afford.

     The picture on the right is of Caesar's Tower as seen from the curtain wall.  Its unusual shape and guardhouse atop it are both very clear.

Caesar's Tower to Guy's Tower

    This is a wider view showing Caesar's Tower, the Barbicon and Gatehouse, and Guy's Tower.  Starting with the Gatehouse, the walls rest on earthworks fronted by a ditch.  Guy's Tower dates to the 1300s, and is five stories tall.  Arrow slits can be seen on the tower, but the larger holes near the top are Civil War era modifications for small cannons.


  In the panorama above from left to right are the now familiar Gatehouse and Barbicon followed by Guy's Tower.  Moving on, we can see that the walls angle back at Guy's Tower, and continue along the earthwork to a corbelled turret, which at the top of the walls extends outward to provide fire along the walls.  The walls then descends to Clarence Tower, which is obstructed by trees.

     The corbelled turret is visible in the right portion of the picture to the right.  In this view, it is much more clear that the turret extends outward from the walls.


Clarence Tower and Bear Tower

   Guy's Tower is visible on the left of the panorama, and on the right is the Mound, the old stronghold during the motte and bailey era.  Clarence and Bear Towers in the center date to                   but during the Wars of the Roses construction began of an expansion upward to the height of Guy's Tower, with the idea of making a keep.  The death of Richard III halted progress, which is perhaps just as well because gunpowder artillery would soon make all castles obsolete. 

     The picture on the right I believe is from the inside of Clarence Tower.  A sign reads, "King Richard III's Artillery Fort 1483-85.  This room was a gun room.  Its walls were drilled to take cannon and along with the tower to the left (Bear Tower) they formed the front or northern aspect of the great square keep or fort built by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who later became King Richard III.  The two rear towers of the fort, which extended well into the courtyard, were demolished in the early 17th century."



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