A Brief History of Warwick
Warwick offers to visitors today the opportunity of exploring not only the architectural gems of our medieval history but also those of our more recent past and the modern vibrant life of the county town of Warwickshire.
The town of Warwick was founded on the banks of the River Avon in 914 AD by Ethelfleda, sister of Edward the Elder, as a defense against the Danish invaders, on a site overlooking earlier riverside settlements. It is built on a small hill which controlled not only the river valley but also the river crossing on the road to London and the roads to Stratford, Coventry and the salt way to Droitwich. The Anglo-Saxon town was surrounded partly by a wall and partly by a ditch.
The medieval core of the town was prevented from expansion by the open spaces that surround it: the Common and Racecourse, the grounds of the Priory, St Nicholas Meadow, the River Avon, and later, Warwick Castle. Within a relatively small area there are many buildings of historic interest, of which the Castle is the most important.
This is one of the most dramatic and complete medieval castles in the country. It has been inhabited continuously since the Middle Ages, and was the home of the Earls of Warwick until recently.
Many of the central streets of the town were destroyed by the Great Fire of 1694. The buildings which were burnt, and many which were not, were re-built in the handsome style of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. St Mary’s Church, which dominates the surrounding countryside, had a new nave and tower at the same time.
Several important medieval buildings survived the fire and can be seen to this day, notably the town’s medieval Guildhall, now the Lord Leycester Hospital, as well as a group of timber – framed buildings around Oken’s House.
Places of Interest in Warwick
Hill Close Gardens
The restored gardens at Hill Close offer an extremely rare opportunity to visit sixteen hedged Victorian pleasure gardens, reconstructed to capture the planting and personality of their original owners.
Collegiate Church of St Mary
St Mary’s Church is an historic landmark, tourist attraction and busy parish church which is set in the ancient town of Warwick. People have worshiped on this site for over 1,000 years and our present building is one of the largest and most interesting churches in Britain.
Lord Leycester Hospital and Master’s Garden
Hidden behind the ancient buildings is the delightful Master’s Garden.
Refreshments available in Brethren’s Kitchen
Tel 01926 491422, www.lordleycester.com
Saltisford Canal Trust
Light refreshments and day boat hire are available at the shop in the converted warehouse. The Cedar Room is available for hire at meetings.
The centre is open every day. The shop is closed at weekends from November- February.
St. Nicholas Park
Includes a crazy golf course, amusement rides, children’s play area, pony rides, outdoor paddling pool and boats for hire (summer only), tennis, football courts, recreation ground, indoor swimming pool and leisure centre, sports facilities, cafe, BMX track and Boules rink.
St John’s Museum
Housed in a Jacobean mansion, St John’s Museum showcases the social history collections. The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum tells the story of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment from 1647 through to the fusiliers of today.
The Mill Garden
At the end of Mill Street is the Mill Garden, famed for the quality of its planting in an unbelievable setting. It was created over a period of sixty years by the late Arthur Measures, who made it a personal expression of his love of plants.
Celebrate over 1,100 years of history at Warwick Castle! A Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument, Warwick Castle has played a prominent role in English history for 11 centuries. Visitors can explore Medieval Towers and Ramparts, roam grounds designed by famous landscaper Capability Brown and marvel at the Great Hall and State Rooms.
Warwickshire Museum – Market Hall
The Warwickshire Museum is a 17th century building in the centre of Warwick. Here you’ll find displays on the geology, natural history and early history of the country. Highlights include the Sheldon Tapestry Map of Warwickshire, our live Observation Beehive and our famous (tweeting) Giant Irish Deer. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and exciting events throughout the year.
Warwick Racecourse has been part of Warwick life since 1707 and the course still hosts a full program of jump racing throughout the season.
Warwickshire Yeomanry Museum
Easter to October 10am – 4pm
See below for information on the Warwick Town Map
This guide is also available in German, please follow link below
Clink on the link below to read all about the beautiful Visitor Centre, home of the Tourist Information Centre, the splendid ballroom and the Yeomanry Museum
Planning a trip to Warwick, please click on the link below which will take you to our accommodation guide