Warwick Castle is always in the top three most impressive British castles. Within easy driving distance from West Oxfordshire, Warwick Castle is a medieval castle in Warwick. It sits on a bend on the River Avon.
Since its construction in the 11th century, the castle has undergone structural changes with additions of towers and redesigned residential buildings. Originally a wooden motte-and-bailey, it was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century. During the Hundred Years War, the facade opposite the town was refortified, resulting in one of the most recognisable examples of 14th century military architecture.
In the 17th century the grounds were turned into a garden. The castle's defences were enhanced in the 1640s to prepare the castle for action in the English Civil War. Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke, was a Parliamentarian, and Royalist forces laid siege to the castle. Warwick Castle withstood the siege and was later used to hold prisoners taken by the Parliamentarians. The Tussauds Group purchased Warwick Castle in 1978 and opened it as a tourist attraction. It is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building.
One of the latest attractions is the trebuchet which is demonstrated daily at the castle.
Started in 1743 and originally known as Temple Park, Castle Park is located to the south of the castle. Its original name derived from the Knights Templar, who used to own a manor in Warwick. Houses around the perimeter of the park were demolished and the land they stood on incorporated into the park. Attempts to make profits from the park in the late 18th century included leasing it for grazing, growing wheat, and keeping sheep.
A water-powered mill in the castle grounds was probably built under Henry de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Warwick. By 1398 the mill had been relocated to just outside the eastern castle walls, on the west bank of the River Avon. Both mills were subject to flooding. By 1644, an engine house had been added to the mill. The mill was reused as an electricity generating plant after it had stopped being used to grind, but once Warwick Castle was fitted with mains electricity in 1940, the mill was no longer required and was dismantled in 1954.
The Castle is now run by the Tussauds group.