A visit to Warwick Castle
A top tourist attraction in the Heart of England is Warwick Castle, one of the best examples of a medieval castle in England. It provides a wonderful day out for people of all ages.
Warwick Castle has been home to many generations of the rich and powerful Earls of Warwick who had supported their Kings, fought bravely and benefitted from the spoils of war. They had been key players in English history, been on the winning side and amassed a huge wealth adding to the castle and turning it into a massive fortress.
During the Wars of the Roses (1455 – 1485) members of the Houses of York (whose symbol is the White Rose) and Lancaster (whose symbol is the Red Rose) – branches of the Plantagenet Royal family descended from Edward III, fought a series of very bloody battles to gain the throne of England.
Preparations for the Battle of Barnet Exhibition
Richard Neville, the very rich, powerful, ambitious 16th Earl of Warwick, wanted to rule the country through the monarch he'd put on the throne. Richard Neville, a total control freak, was known as the Kingmaker. Neville, the Earl of Warwick supported Edward IV's claim to the throne and helped to depose Henry VI and have him locked up in the Tower of London. Warwick expected Edward IV to reward him handsomely by giving him more power, wealth and land. However Edward IV was his own man and had no intention of being controlled by Warwick, they fell out and became bitter enemies, so much so that Edward had to flee the country and go into exile.
Warwick changed allegiances to support the Lancastrian cause. Six months later Edward IV determined to claim the throne, returned to England with a large army supplied by his brother-in-law, the Duke of Burgundy. Warwick on hearing the news assembled a great army of Lancastrians to fight the Yorkist King, Edward IV. At the castle you can see the preparations for the Battle of Barnet.
The battle took place on 14th April 1471. Things didn't go well for the Lancastrians army. King Edward arrived at Barnet in the dark on the evening before and set up camp very close to Warwick's army. The following morning the armies fought in thick fog. In the confusion the Lancastrians accidently fought against themselves. Warwick the Kingmaker was killed during the battle and the Lancastrian army were routed.
Although Edward IV had defeated the Earl of Warwick and his army, he soon heard that Margaret of Anjou, King Henry VI’s wife and her son Edward, Prince of Wales who had been in exile in France, had landed at Weymouth with an army and were on their way to assist the Earl of Warwick. Although they arrived too late for the Battle of Barnet, they continued marching north and raising supporters as they travelled. Margaret of Anjou heard the news that Warwick had been killed but continued the march north, determined to claim back the throne for her husband and her son.
Edward IV, anticipating their plans intercepted the Lancastrian army at Tewkesbury and after a bloody battle, they were again routed and victory for King Edward IV was finally secured.
Warwick's body was taken to St Paul's Cathedral in London and his naked corpse was put on display so that everyone could see that the Kingmaker was dead.
For a private guided coach tour for your group to include a visit to Warwick Castle
Contact: Blue Badge Tour Guide - Anne Bartlett