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A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
 
 
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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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;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.

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*.

Description

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.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER   Scheduling   Listing   I. O. E.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated on Saturday, July 26, 2014

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