This post was written by Matilda, aged 11, who entered our Young Persons’ Writing Competition 2019.
In an ordinary car. On an ordinary road. In an ordinary street that lay in an ordinary town. Little did I know that my day would be extraordinary!
When we arrived at the towering monument, I was taken aback at the spectacular architecture and the wrought iron gates that I could hear moaning in the distance. What a gargantuan and impressive castle! Were my eyes deceiving me? Hurriedly, we parked up and were ready to venture into the unknown…
The atmosphere as I walked into the large courtyard was truly unbelievable! Birds of prey squawked loud enough to wake the dead. Shouts from ‘Sword School’ were echoing eerily about. Jesters in silly hats and princesses in frilly dresses were tottering about, taking to you in an old-fashioned manner. Best of all, a huge catapult stood as tall as the clouds before me! What a day this was going to be!
Did you know that Warwick Castle was originally built by William the Conqueror in the year 1608 or that a whole new room was built for Elizabeth I when she came to stay since the building was in such a bad state( you can still visit this room now!) Well, i didn’t know how imposing the ‘Great Hall’ was or how stunning the oil portraits glittered in their golden frames! As we explored the castle I was sure that painted eyes were following me around! With each room we walked into i felt more and more that i had stepped back in time. Each room looked approximately how it would have done many centuries ago. My favourites were ‘The Great Hall’ because it was displayed with knight ‘s armour and shimmering swords. I also liked the library (I love to read) finding it hard not gasp at the sight of hundreds of leather-bound books! Also, in certain rooms, models displayed who would have normally be found in this room, what their typical attire would have been like and what they would have been doing. Occasionally, a recorded conversation or music would play in the background! As we walked out of the castle through the drawbridge we spotted murder holes! Murder holes were where boiling tar and human waste would pour out onto the enemy below as they tried to invade the castle. Pretty gruesome! Next, we decided to take a look at the dungeons. They were extremely cramped and no daylight could get in as there were no windows. Many Kings and Royals have been locked up in the dungeons before. For instance King Edward IV was imprisoned in the Wars of the Roses. Richard Neville and the Earl of Warwick captured him and shortly after attempted to reign. However, this was not seen as a good idea and they released King Edward after a few months of being thrown in the dungeons. Even Disney has been imprisoned in the castle! No, not Walt Disney but a certain Edward Disney was locked up in the dungeon during the battle of Edgehill in the Civil War in 1642. It is highly possibly Edward is related to the famous Walt Disney though. Walt visited the Midlands in the 1940s to try to trace his family who he believed had formed the village of Norton Disney in Lincolnshire. Warwick Castle supported Oliver Cromwell, but Disney was fighting for King Charles I. Edward doodled some graffiti art onto the walls of the Castle Gaol, so you can check out some of Disney’s art while you are visiting this tremendous Castle.
Did you know that Warwick Castle was once owned by a two-year old girl?! When Henry de Beauchamp (the first Duke of Warwick and owner of the castle) died in 1446, he didn’t have a son to pass his property to, therefore, it went to his daughter Anne. Shockingly, Anne was only two years old at the time! She owned the castle for three years after sadly passing away aged just 5 years old! Anne died on 3 June 1449 and was buried in Reading Abbey church. It is possible that Reading was chosen as her burial site because her Great Grandmother, Constance of York, had also been buried there. The Castle then got passed to Richard Neville by marriage. I didn’t know that, and I certainly didn’t know how our day would continue. I was very eager to find out!
After the astonishing inside of the castle had been explored, we decided to settle down to eat our picnic. An old-fashioned countess came over to us too! Upon finishing our lunch, we decided to take a look at the courtyard and the gardens. The courtyard was full of life! However, my favourite attraction was the garden! Many picturesque flowers grew all around us in an array of couloirs! Hedges had been trimmed into various stunning shapes and a huge Victorian Tea House stood on cobbled ground at the centre of the marvellous garden. Despite all of this, my favourite thing was the peacocks strutting around showing off their beautiful feathers to passers-by! As we walked back we watched a little of a ‘Bird of Prey’ show. We saw many different birds that were used to hunt years and years ago! All of a sudden, a huge eagle shot up right before my very eyes! It did a circuit of the ring before landing back onto the tamers arm! Wild applause followed the spectacle! This day was truly shaping up to be one of the best!
Did you know that the original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone in the 12th Century? Soon after, we watched a special show called ‘The Wars of the Roses.’ We chose to support Lancaster (White Rose). The show was packed full of horses, tragedy and of course combat and rivalry! I thoroughly enjoyed watching the horses joust, especially because this was a new experience for me and I had never seen anything like it at all before! A happy ending concluded the show- and my time at Warwick Castle- in which Henry VII and Elizabeth marry, which forms the well-known Tudor Rose!
Warwick Castle has had more than 35 different owners since being built by Henry II.
This trip to Warwick Castle was truly amazing! I stepped back in time for a day and I absolutely loved it! I would definitely go again if I had the chance! I would certainly recommend Warwick Castle to others too! Although, you would need to spend a day there to allow yourself to experience all of the phenomenal activities that Warwick Castle has to offer!
About the Author
Matilda McMullen, 11 years old.
Entrant- The Tourist Trail Young Persons’ Writing Competition 2019
“My name is Matilda McMullen and I am 11 and I love writing. “