Castle was founded in 1068 and was rebuilt and updated a number
of times. Today it combines castle ruins, largely of the
fourteenth century with one of the finest great houses in
England. Two small projecting towers, which date to the late
fifteenth century are said to have built as artillery
platforms. Warwick Castle rises like a precipice above the
River Avon. On this natural cliff William I founded a motte
castle in 1068, on lands seized from a nearby Saxon convent. A
wooden tower built on the motte was evidently still there in
the reign of Henry II, by which time a polygonal shell
enclosure had been raised round the motte top. Only fragments
of the shell enclosure now remain, incorporated in the rebuilt
shell, which is of much later date.
the fourteenth century, by which time some additional buildings
such as the great hall and residential blocks had been put up
in the bailey, the castle passed to Earl Beauchamp who
initiated a fresh programme of works. These were substantially
what can be seen today. They included restructuring the great
hall and a range of other buildings on the south-east, a
water-gate, and on the west front a high and stout defensive
curtain leading from a gatehouse to a very tall polygonal
tower, known as Guy's Tower, which is 39.4 metres tall. The
gatehouse is a remarkable building: a pair of towers above the
doorway passage, which had portcullises and murder-holes.
Projecting from the east side of the gatehouse is a tall
rectangular building leading to another tower.
latter tower is 45.2 meters tall and capped by a two-fold
system of battlements with machicolation all round below the
battlements. It is called Caesar's Tower. The three main
storeys in the tower are each vaulted, and have stone
castle is completed by curtain walling and further, much
smaller, flanking towers. The wall at the west leads up the
motte to the restored shell enclosure and down again southwards
to the south range. The whole is thus a powerfully defended
Castle, acclaimed as the most romantic castle in England, is
located in south-east England, built on two adjacent
island in the river Len.
Castle was originally a manor of the Saxon royal family
possibly as early as the reign of Ethelbert IV ( 856-860). The
first castle was an earthwork enclosure whose wooden palisade
was converted to stone and provided with two towers along the
perimeter. This is now vanished. Traces of arches in a vault
thought to be Norman were found at the beginning of this
1119 Robert Crevecoeur started to build a stone castle on the
site, establishing his donjon where the Gloriette now is.
Stephen, Count of Blois, and his cousin the Empress Matilda
contested the crown of England. In 1139 Matilda invaded England
with the help of his brother Robert, Earl of Gloucester, who
held Leeds castle, but Kent was loyal to king Stephen and
following a short siege he took control of the castle.
castle came into the possession of Edward I (1278) . He rebuilt
much of the castle as it stood at the beginning of his reign,
and enlarged it, providing an outer stone curtain round the
edge of the larger island, with cylindrical open-backed
flanking towers and a square-plan water-gate on the south-east.
The gatehouse at the south-west, a single tower pierced by an
arched passage was improved. Later on, King Edward, the
Confessor granted the manor to the powerful house of Godwin.
VIII, the most famous of all the owners of Leeds Castles,
expended large sums in enlarging and beautifying the whole
the same time, he carefully retained the defenses of the castle
for he often had cause to fear invasion from either France or
the Spanish . The king entrusted the work of alteration to his
great friend Sir Henry Guidford.
has been constantly inhabited and rebuilt since then. Most of
the castle today is the result of the nineteenth-century
reconstruction and addition. In 1926 Leeds was bought by
the Hon. Mrs. Wilson-Filmer, known as Lady Baillie. Immediately
she began the restoration of the castle that took her over 30
years to leave it as it stands today.
There are many myths and legends surrounding castle
sieges. Knights in shining armor riding up to the castle, doing
hand to hand combat. Or maybe hundreds of guards streaming out
of the castles to meet their enemy. None of this is true,
except in fairy tales and movies.
the time, the attacking force would send a messenger to the
lord of the castle and give notice of their intentions to
attack. This notice allowed the castle to surrender. Sometimes
the lord surrendered, but most often the castle was restocked
and made ready for the siege. They would restock themselves
with food, supplies and drink, and add men to the garrison.
were three ways to take a castle. The first is not to attack
the castle at all - just avoid the castle altogether and seize
the lands around it. The second is direct assault, or laying
siege to the castle. The last is besieging.
an account of a siege. Stone throwing mangonels attack the
towers and walls every day. The walls of the castles would
hopefully be breached, and towers damaged. The enemy erects
wooden towers called belfries, taller than the castle towers,
to conceal and enable bow men to shoot arrows down into the
castle. While this is going on, miners would be tunneling under
the walls and towers of the castle in preparation to collapse
counter the mining, anti-mining tunnels could be dug by the
castle soldiers, which insured a ferocious hand-to-hand battle
underground. Inside the castle, the guards would place a pot of
water near the castle towers and walls. When the water rippled,
they would know enemy miners were at work underneath them.
barbican is next assaulted and taken, with a loss of men on
both sides. Then the bailey is attacked, and more men killed.
Animals and some supplies would be captured. The auxiliary
buildings containing hay and grain for the castle are burned.
By now, miners have succeeded in collapsing a wall of the
castle. The attackers have broken through and seized the inner
bailey. More men on both sides would be lost in this phase of
time, the castle defenders would have retreated to the keep.
Miners would now be setting fire to the mine tunnel under the
and fire are rising into the keep, and cracks appearing in the
thick walls. The defenders of the castle are forced to
surrender as the castle falls to the enemy.
third method, called besieging, would require the enemy to wait
and starve the castle garrison into surrender. This method was
preferred by an attacking side. Some sieges of this type would
last from six months to a year. Sometimes, the enemy would hurl
dead animals into the castle grounds in hopes of spreading
diseases. And, sometimes the lord of the castle would toss dead
animals outside his castle, to convince the enemy they had
enough supplies to carry on a siege for months.
story would be complete without a haunted castle. Here is
some of the castles that are reportedly haunted in England.
Pomeroy Castle, Devon
to be haunted by the daughter of a wicked baron who, as a
consequence of an enforced relationship with her father,
bore him a child, which he strangled.
Castle is associated with numerous ghosts and
strange sounds. In the King's bedroom, the lower half of a
man has been seen walking through the doorway. The specter
of a woman dressed in a red dress has been seen at the west
stairway of the keep. The sounds of a creaking doorway
opening and closing where a door used to be, but isn't
anymore, have been heard.
The castle is associated with a ghostly bridal party. Baron
Featherstonehaugh had arranged for his daughter to marry a
relative of his choice, even though the daughter was in love
with someone else. The wedding party left for the
"traditional hunt" after the wedding, leaving the
baron behind to make arrangements for the banquet. When the
party failed to return by midnight, the baron began to fear
the worst. Sitting alone at the table, he heard horses
crossing the drawbridge. The door opened and the party
entered. But, they made no sound and passed through
furniture. The wedding party had been ambushed and killed.
On the anniversary of the wedding, the party can still be
seen heading towards the castle. .
by Sir James Lowther. He was very unhappy with a prearranged
marriage, and fell in love with a farmer's daughter. When
she suddenly grew ill and died, Sir James refused to believe
she was dead and left her on the bed. She was finally moved
and placed in a coffin with a glass lid, which he set in a
cupboard where he could look at her. She was finally buried,
and Sir James died unloved and unmourned. At his funeral his
coffin began to sway as it was lowered into the ground. His
spectral coach and ungroomed horses can be seen being driven
through the parklands of the castle.
1816, a guard saw what he described afterwards as "a
shadowy bear walking up the stairs in the twilight." He
lunged at it with his bayonet, which shattered against the
wall. The ghostly presence walked on unaffected and the
guard, having told his unlikely story to others, died of
shock a few days later.
Castle, Berkshire Queen
Elizabeth I's ghost has been seen in the library. A young
guard shot and killed himself and another guard on duty saw