Maidenhead/Adventuring Day 11

Day 11          Maidenhead/Adventuring          Mainly blue skies/warmish

 An early start today!!  Warwick Castle was on the agenda, which was further away than usual.

We caught the train from Maidenhead to Reading, changed to a fast train to Leamington Spa, via Oxford and then on to Warwick, where we had a short 15 minute walk to the castle – two and a half hours altogether.  I’m sure we have said it before, but the public transport system over here is brilliant!

The castle was built from fortified stone in 1260. The bloody history is steeped in treachery, murder, mystery and intrigue.  The castle survived siege warfare and its history is steeped in stories of the Age of Medieval Knights and Chivalry and tales of surviving the English Civil War.

In 1978 the Earl of Warwick’s son, David, sold the Castle to the company which owns Madame Tussaud’s in London, who carried out extensive restorations and opened it to the public as a “Castle of Living History”.

Throughout the castle, we saw wax figures dressed in period clothing and portraying the roles they would have had at that point in time.  There were also people, dressed in medieval clothing, demonstrating and talking about some of the common activities that would have taken place within the castle walls, eg we saw an archer practising and talking about the skills required. We also watched a demonstration of the world’s largest Trebuchet (catapult) hurling a very large rock across an open paddock.  The Trebuchet stands 18 metres tall and weighs 22  tonnes.  It hurls the rock 25 metres into the air for up to 300 metres.

We were interested in the live birds of prey they had on display and the falconer’s stories.  We saw a Golden Eagle, a Harris Hawk, a Lanner Falcon, a White-tailed Sea Eagle and a Peregrine Falcon

We climbed into the towers, (yes up spiral, stone staircases, again!) and walked along the parapets – a total of over 500 stairs.

We visited the Chapel, the Great Hall and the Georgian State Rooms as well as the bedrooms, drawing rooms, the library, the boudoirs and the dining rooms.  The rooms were furnished and had wax figures depicting the scene.

We also visited the Mill and Engine House to see how the castle is powered and how the mill wheel drove the mechanisms and gearing for the mill and its power generation. 

The Castle is partly surrounded by green fields, beautiful gardens and the River Avon forms part of its protective moat.

After spending a lovely day at the castle and a short walk through the town centre and three trains later, we arrived back at Maidenhead at about 4 o’clock.

Leave a Reply