Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire






CV34 4QU

Warwick Castle is probably one of the most famous and iconic castles in all of England and needs little introduction. It is best known for its association with Richard Neville, the informous Kingmaker.

Today it is very much a successful tourist attraction, so expect plenty of people when you visit.

~ History ~

79AD ~ A Roman fort is established at the site of Warwick by Agricola.


425 ~ Following the Roman's leaving Britain for the final time, the Saxons move into the Avon valley.


914 ~ To protect the Kingdom of Mercia from the Vikings, King Edward the Elder, the son of Alfred the Great and his sister Aethelflaed, the 'Lady of the Mercians', and daughter of King Alfred the Great, build a Burh at Warwick.


1066 ~  The Normans invade England. The Saxon Earl Thorkell of Arden and lord of Warwick refuses to support King Harold. King Harold is killed at the Battle of Hastings


1067 ~ William the Conqueror is crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey in London. Thorkell of Arden receives the gratitude of William the Conqueror by allowing him to retain his lordship and many landholdings in Warwickshire. Under orders from William he constructs a ditch with an entrance gate around the town of Warwick


1068 ~ William the Conqueror chooses a natural site for Warwick Castle overlooking the River Avon.

Henry de Beaumont holds the Motte and Bailey castle for William the Conqueror.


1086 ~ The Doomsday Book is completed, recording Thorkell of Arden, the Traitor Earl, asone of only two Englishmen 'holding estates of baronial dimensions directly of the King' in the whole of England.


1088 ~ King William Rufus creates the earldom of Warwick for Henry de Beaumont who changes his name to Henry de Newburgh. He is appointed as Constable of Warwick Castle. William Rufus also gives him the great estate of Thorkell of Arden thereby betraying the Traitor Earl.


1119 ~ Roger de Newburgh becomes the 2nd Earl of Warwick.


1242 ~ Thomas de Newburgh leaves no heirs so his sister Margery Newburgh marries John de Plessetis who assumes the 7th Earldom of Warwick in her right.


1260 ~ The wooden castle is replaced by a fortified stone castle.

1263 ~ William Maudit marries Alice Newburgh the 6th Earl of Warwick's daughter and assumes the 8th Earldom of Warwick in her right. War breaks out between the Barons and the King. William Maudit sides with the King.


1264 ~ Simon de Montfort successfully attacks and lays siege to Warwick Castle.


1312 ~ King Edward II's favourite and enemy of the Barons, Piers Gaveston is held at Warwick Castle prior to his execution.


1315 ~ Thomas de Beauchamp becomes the 11th Earl of Warwick and starts the reconstruction of Warwick Castle.

He later commands the troops at the Battle of Crecy for King Edward III which results in thousands of French Knights and soldiers killed, still more captured for ransom, compared to a few hundred English. Fatalities on the Frenchside included the Kings of Bohemia and Majorca, the Duke of Lorraine, the Count of Flanders, the Count of Blois together with eight other counts and three archbishops.


1356 ~ Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick, commands troops at the Battle of Poitiers and is the advisor of Edward III, the Black Prince. More than 4,000 French are killed compared to 40 of King Edward's men. French nobles and troopsare held as prisoners at Warwick Castle


1369 ~ King Edward III died at Windsor Castle.


1431 ~ Richard de Beauchamp, the 13th Earl of Warwick serves in France as Captain of Calais and supervises the trial of Joan of Arc.


1439 ~ Henry de Beauchamp  becomes the 14th Earl of Warwick and marries Cicely Neville.


1449 ~ Richard Neville marries Anne Beauchamp the daughter of Richard de Beauchamp, the 13th Earl of Warwick and assumes the title of the 16th Earl of Warwick in her right.

England enters a period of civil disorder and political instability known as the Wars of the Roses. Richard Neville, a Yorkist, helps Edward IV, the son of the Duke of York, to become king.


1460 - At the Battle of Wakefield Richard of York is defeated and killed. Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick (later called the Kingmaker), captures London for the Yorkists.


1461 ~ The battles of Mortimer's Cross and Towton see's Richard's son, Edward of York, defeats the Lancastrians and becomes King Edward IV, aided by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.


1460's ~ Warwick's quarrels with King Edward IV over the King's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, and Warwick forms an alliance with King Louis XI of France.


The mentally unstable and pious Lancastrian King Henry VI and his headstrong and ambitious wife Margaret of Anjou are imprisoned in Warwick Castle


1470 ~ Warwick is declared a traitor by King Edward IV and forced to flee to France. Warwick returns from France and turns Lancastrian when he defeats King Edward IV and restores King Henry VI to power.


1471 ~ At the Battle of Barnet King Edward IV defeats and kills Warwick the Kingmaker.

King Henry VI, the last Lancastrian king, is murdered in the Tower of London whilst he is at prayer.

King Edward's brother George, Duke of Clarence, becomes the 17th Earl of Warwick and marries Isabel Neville.

1478 ~ The King's brother is executed on the King's order for treason. Warwick castle becomes the property the King's and George's brother, the future King Richard III, who marries Anne Neville, the youngest daughter of Richard Neville, the King Maker.

1485 ~ A Lancastrian rebellion rises against the Yorkist King Richard III and he is killedat the Battle of Bosworth Field to Henry Tudor. Richard loses both the throne and Warwick Castle. Henry Tudor becomes the owner of Warwick Castle and keeps the castle for himself. King Henry VII cements his succession and settles the friction between the Yorkists and Lancastrians by marrying the Yorkist heir, Elizabeth of York.


1499 ~ Edward Plantagenet, the 18th Earl of Warwick, the son of the Duke of Clarence,  like his father,  is also executed for treason.


1509 ~ King Henry VIII keeps Warwick Castle for for the Crown.

1572 ~ Queen Elizabeth I visits Warwick Castle.


1604 ~ King James I presents a dilapitated Warwick Castle to Sir Fulke Greville who spends considerable money on improvements and repairs.


1628 ~ Sir Fulke Greville isstabbed to death by his steward in Warwick Castle.


1642 ~ Warwick Castle successfully withstands a siege by Royalist troops on the outbreak of Civil War.