The Arundel and Warwick castles both date back as far as to the Norman Conquest (the 11th - 12th century). If you have read anything about the Warwick castle and decided to visit it, Arundel is also worth looking in. Both, the Arundel and Warwick castles, are considered to be the most magnificent and the most complete medieval castles in England. As built during the Norman Conquest, the Arundel and Warwick castles first served as defensive and attacking structures of England. Today, they are national historical monuments and museums. Let us look into the history and life of these ancient and powerful fortifications.
The Arundel and Warwick castles were first wooden motte and bailey fortifications, but evolved through the centuries and turned into the architectural giants, which we see today.
The Warwick Castle, born in the peak hours of the Norman Invasion, has played a role in charting England's history since Henry De Newburgh was declared the 1st Earl of Warwick in 1088. The castle rests against the River Avon. The river served as an extra defense against invaders from the south and provided power for the castle's mill. The middle tower of the castle is called "Caesar's Tower" and is a masterpiece of the14th century military architecture of 147feet high. The steps inside the castle, leading below the Caesar's Tower, showed the way to the dungeon. The dungeon stores several instruments of torture, including a device, called the scavengers daughter from which prisoners would hang inside a steel cage. The dungeon also contained a sunken chamber, called an "oubliette" in French, or "place to be forgotten". The prisoners were locked away there, unable to move, until they died of starvation. The Warwick's gatehouse and barbican are also magnificent objects of architectural and military art.
The Great Hall, having been once the heart of the castle, is a grand collection of arms and armor, collected throughout the cruel history of England. Some pieces belong to such notable people as Lord Oliver Cromwell and Bonnie Price Charlie.
Nowadays, the Warwick castle UK is owned by Madame Tussauds and is a major tourist attraction in the country. The castle is open every day except on Christmas day and has many events throughout the year, such as jousting, falconry and archery displays. The castle grounds also contain a Victorian rose garden, a peacock garden and has places to eat and gift shops abound.
The story of Arundel begins in 1067, when Roger de Montgomery was created Earl of Arundel and given a third of Sussex as a reward for his careful stewardship of Normandy, while William I was conquering England. The castle was built four miles from the south coast, overlooking the River Arun.
Having suffered innumerous sieges and finally being destroyed, the Castle remained a ruin for nearly one hundred and fifty years until the 8th Duke began restoration in 1716, whose work was continued by the 10th Duke in 1789, who rebuilt it in a fashionable Gothic style. In the late 19th century, the Arundel castle was reconstructed in the way that today it looks like a smaller version of the Windsor castle. In the present day, the castle is open for tourist visits from April to the end of October.