Old Wardour castle

Another rainy Sunday, so we headed off to continue our castle tour. Old Wardour was built in 1393 and is the last of the three baronial castles (Nunney and Farleigh Hungerford) that we visited this holiday. They were all built around the same time and all ruined during the Civil War, around 1644. Like Nunney, it is heavily influenced by the french fashion of castle building.

Unlike the other two castles, we were able to climb the steps to other floors. It was fascinating to spot the remains of architectural features. The castle was used to film part of “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.” I can quite understand why they chose this location.

The children were impressed at how many floors they could climb up in this ruined castle. We seemed to climb up flights and flights of stone spiral stairs, stepping off to explore rooms on each level. I love the worn tread of these steps. How many feet have helped to wear the edges down over the centuries. I can imagine Lady Blanche, during the siege in 1643, scurrying up theseĀ  steps.

Maybe she too surveyed the grounds through this window. In her time, she might have been transfixed by the Parliamentarian army which lay siege to her home and castle. She had but 25 men to help her defend the castle.

I find all three castles fascinating. They were built and improved all the way up to the Civil War and then ruined. It all stopped. No improvements were made after that time. They are now frozen in the mid 17th century. Maybe a few changes to give us access and to stop further crumbling, but there are no further generations of the families putting their mark on the buildings, as their ancestors have done. No extra towers nor wings added. It stopped evolving and started falling.

It allowed us to step back in time. The whole family loved exploring the rooms. It was fun to imagine how these castles were lived in. When all the floors and walls were still intact.

Hmm. Is she imaging herself as the young lady of the castle?

It is a great time of year to visit, as the rhododendrons are in flower.

The children decided that this was the best castle on our tour. A brilliant visit if you have a little knight in your midst or an ardent history buff.

No more for a while, as it is back to school this week. We are planning to go to the events and re-enactments at these castles, later this summer. I’ll post them up. Hope you can bear more castle posts! If nothing else, I strongly recommend having a go at the castle cookies.

13 thoughts on “Old Wardour castle

  • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 12:18 am
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    How wonderful to be able to explore a real castle! We just don’t have anything that old in the U.S. except maybe trees. The U.K. is such a beautful land.

    • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 3:32 pm
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      I have visited so many castles in the UK and the rest of Europe, but the novelty never wears off. I love the history of them all. Your old trees must be amazing to see.

  • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 12:49 am
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    Oh how I have been enjoying this castle tour with you!

    • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 3:33 pm
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      I’m glad you could all visit with me!

  • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 1:27 am
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    It must be so wonderful to tour these wonderful buildings. We in America have such a different sense of history and time. Nothing here of this vintage, of course. I know that castles do exist of course, but it is different to be able to just go see them. I have had such fun seeing them through your eyes. Wonderful photos.

    • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 3:45 pm
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      I’m so glad you have enjoyed my castle posts. I hope I have brought them to life for you. I’m hoping that the children will start to understand the passage of time a little bit more with each visit. Eldest is already a budding history buff.

  • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 2:07 am
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    What an incredible castle! We are so lucky to have these beautiful old buildings to explore in England. So much to imagine..steeped in history..and so many stories connected to them.

    • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 3:51 pm
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      They have all been fascinating castles, this holiday. There are so many to visit around the whole of the UK, I sometimes forget how lucky we are to have so many in easy reach. Can’t beat tangible history!

    • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 10:22 pm
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      It would be fun if you lived nearby! I’ll make sure we go along to the events and take copious photos. The children are already excited about the prospect of more visits.

  • Thursday 9 June, 2011 at 10:26 am
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    i dont know what to say, quite teary. ok i’m welling!
    ive made john promise me he will take me to some castles
    one day. thank you cheryl for the virtual teary tour.
    i love the steps, and what you said.
    it saddens me most that people would rather it fall
    and only paper made from rags stands in the way of
    it shining strong again. x

    • Thursday 9 June, 2011 at 10:01 pm
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      I am so touched that you enjoyed our castle tour. I love sharing our visits. I’ve been to so many castles over the year. This time is special as I’m glimpsing it all through the children’s eyes and also, as an adult, it gives a fresh perspective. There are lots more castles that are still in one piece and we will be visiting a few of them in due course. Ruins are intriguing as they show the bare bones and give us a chance to step back in time. No modernisation. Its been fascinating to see how our family’s vocab includes more castle related words, since the visits.

  • Friday 10 June, 2011 at 2:39 pm
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    you are so lucky! i wish we had places like that to explore here. maybe we could go see that old run down mickey d’s they closed last year. heard it was neat. no, but really, there are some cool native american places, but they are not really close to me. looks fun where u are!

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