Warwick Castle Gathering
By KT-UK on 25 Sep 2019
After 700 years Templars return to Warwick Castle......on Sat 26th August 2018 Knights and Dames of the Knights Templar United Kingdom order returned triumphantly to Warwick Castle, led by our Commander for Bedfordshire and our Master of England. On a rain lashed day Knights and Dames of the Order could be seen throughout the Castle which welcomed them with open arms. The KT-UK flag flies proudly in the Castle. One of the dry spots of the day, our Grand Master was there to see tje flag proudly displayed. Well done to everybody who turned out for the event.
A Brief History of Warwick Castle
There has been a defensive outpost here on the banks of the River Avon since 978. Warwick Castle dates from 1068 and was commisioned by William the Conqueror as he moved his power north after the Norman Conquest. The Norman structure would have been quite different from the one we see today.
A motte and bailey wooden structure was constructed on a hill rising above the River Avon. This area now known as 'The Mound' originally offered the greatest vantage point across the land and therefore was the strongest part of the Castle's defensive system. However, as the time moved on advances in defensive architecture were to dwarf this feature.
By 1260 stone had replaced wood as the Gatehouse, corner defensive posts and the main building (now the site of the house) on the riverside wall of the Courtyard were built. By 1400, the huge Guy's and Caesar's Towers and the Barbican had been added. Walls were strengthened and the ditch (not moat) was dug deeper to create a real mediaeval stronghold.
If King Richard III had not been killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the Castle would have probably been made to look even more dominating. Today the small towers in the Northern Wall known as Bear and Clarence are the foundations of what would have been the highest structure of all if they had been completed. It was to be a four cornered Keep built to be secure from internal and external attack. His death halted the work resulting in what we see today. Later as the castle declined in military importance, the main living quarters were converted into a residence of rich and sumptuous style that reflected the wealth and status of its owners. By the 1890s the Earl and his wife were holding lavish parties.
The town of Warwick dates back to 914AD when Ethelfleda (daughter of Alfred the Great) established a defence against the Danish invaders on the banks of the river Avon. The old mediaeval town was restricted from later expansion by a number of common lands all around it such as the Priory, St Nicholas Meadow and the Castle. A great fire in 1694 destroyed many buildings and only a few examples of mediaeval town architecture survived. These are the Guild Hall, Lord Leycester Hospital and of course the Castle.