Warwick castle

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Warwick castle, sited on a cliff above the Avon, was founded by William the Conqueror in 1068 and has been the seat of the earls of Warwick from the 11th cent. It began as a motte and bailey castle, a stone castle from at least the 12th cent. The present castle owes much to the major rebuilding under the powerful Beauchamp earls, Thomas (d. 1369) and his son, also Thomas (d. 1401). The domestic range, above the river, was extensively remodelled as was the front towards the town, which was provided with an elaborate gatehouse and barbican and two wall towers, known as Guy's Tower and Caesar's Tower. The work, begun by the first Thomas, is dependent on French models, parallels work being carried out at Windsor by Edward III, and reflects closely the power and wealth of a man who was a hero of Crécy and Poitiers and a founder member of the Order of the Garter. The new towers demonstrate the integration of domestic accommodation and fortification, each being elaborately defended but having also several self-contained apartments for important members of the household.

Lynda Rollason

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