If you’re a fan of history, make sure you pay a visit to Warwick Castle in 2017. As well as being one of the few un-ruined castles in Britain (thanks Oliver Cromwell!), it is hosting a new and exciting show this year, “Wars of the Roses Live”. If you love the thrill of the joust, the clash of steel on armour and the bloodier bits of English history…read on!
Warwick Castle was first built by William the Conqueror in 1068 and over the years grew to the impressive fortress we see today. Successive Kings, Dukes and Earls extended and reinforced the defences into an imposing and domineering castle; a symbol of the mighty power of the Crown and the Neville family.
In May this year, a brand new event comes to Warwick Castle, “The Wars of the Roses Live!”. State of the art special effects combine with fearless stunts to produce an epic live show as the houses of York and Lancaster clash in the war over the English throne. The sound of splintering wood will echo around the grounds as lance meets shield in the exciting joust, choose your side and cheer on your heroes!
The Wars of the Roses began as the great noble families of England took sides against each other; their arguments escalating into all-out civil war. William Shakespeare has the leaders plucking white and red roses from a bush in Temple Garden in London, clearly showing which side they were on. But who will you support?
If you choose the Red Rose of Lancaster you are on the side of the King, Henry VI and his ruthless queen, Margaret of Anjou. Henry is the anointed King but his claim to the throne is questionable and he is desperate to pacify his feuding nobles.
The rebels are led by Richard Plantagenet who wears the White Rose of the House of York. Supported by his three warlike sons, he feels his claim to the throne is stronger than Henry’s but is he willing to go to war to prove it?
Warwick Castle played a central role in the decades-long conflict popularly known as “The Wars of the Roses”, (although this term wasn’t actually used until the 18th century). Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, initially supported the Yorkist claim but later switched his allegiance to Lancaster and King Henry. His wealth, power and influence gained him the title of “Kingmaker”.
After Warwick was killed at the Battle of Barnet, his title, lands and castles – including Warwick Castle of course – passed to King Edward IVs brother George, Duke of Clarence. That is, until George was accused of plotting against the King and imprisoned in the Tower of London where he later died in suspicious circumstances!
Highlights of your visit to Warwick Castle will undoubtedly include the birds of prey demonstrations, the Horrible Histories maze and (for brave souls) the Castle Dungeon. The Castle also houses the world’s largest working trebuchet. A mighty siege engine that hurls a flaming missile over hundreds of metres – a frightening reminder of the power of medieval warfare. Imagine being a defender inside a castle under siege!
SuperBreak have a range of hotels near Warwick to add to your Warwick Castle tickets (including Wars of the Roses Live). The event runs on selected dates between May 27th and September 3rd 2017.
While you’re in the area, why not pay a visit to some other exciting attractions in the area such as Cadbury World, West Midlands Safari Park and Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Are you planning a trip to Warwick Castle? Let us know what you’re looking forward to most in the comments section below…