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December 29th 2010

5 Intriguing Little-Known Facts About Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle’s history traces right back to the time of the Roman invasion of Britain.  Between 79 AD and the present day, Warwick Castle has gone through an extensive array of changes.  Treachery and murder are a profound part of its history.  This is what makes it such an enthralling place to visit.

Here are five things you may not know about this antiquarian castle:

1.    You must have heard of the legendary Lady Jane Grey.

  • She was coerced into marrying Guildford Dudley, the son of the Earl of Warwick.
  • She ruled for only nine days before being tried and executed for high treason.
  • However, not many people know that she was commonly regarded as one of the most learned women of her day, despite being only 17 when she died.

2.    The tale of Lady Jane seems to have transcended into modern culture, giving rise to a flood of novels, plays, and films.

  • For example, she was played by Helena Bonham Carter in the 1986 film Lady Jane.

3.    In the 14th century and at a time of great political upheaval, Guy de Beauchamp took Piers Gaveston to Warwick Castle, where he was sentenced to death.

  • Christopher Marlowe’s play Edward II insinuated that Edward II and Piers Gaveston were, in fact, lovers.

4.    Sir Fulke Greville, an Elizabethan statesman, was murdered in September 1628.

  • Since then, it has been rumoured that he haunts Warwick Castle.
  • The story of his murder is now used in the show Warwick Ghosts Alive at the Castle.

5.    In the 1890s the Countess of Warwick collected exotic animals that included, believe it or not, Chinese geese, an ant bear, an emu and Japanese deer!

  • These were held on River Island, part of the River Avon, which was very important to the history of the Castle.

To experience Warwick Castle’s colourful history, click here.

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