• The first castle at Warwick was an Anglo-saxon fortification built around 914 at the order of Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great. William the Conqueror established a motte and bailey castle on the site in 1068: the wooden fortifications were replaced with stone in the reign of Henry II. • Legend has it that in 1153, the castle was handed over to the invading army of Henry of Anjou (later crowned King Henry II) after the wife of Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Warwick, was tricked into believing her husband was dead. Roger apparently collapsed and died when he heard the news, although the king did restore the castle to the Earls of Warwick as a reward for their support for his mother, Empress Matilda. • Author JRR Tolkien was married in Warwick and apparently drew inspiration from the town. An article in the Times Literary Supplement of July 8, 2005 claimed that Edoras and Minas Tirith, in The Lord of the Rings, were modelled on the early and the Norman settlements. • Warwick’s historic buildings have made it a popular location for TV series. The town has featured in Dangerfield, Pride and Prejudice, Tom Jones and Moll Flanders, while the TARDIS appeared at Lord Leycester Hospital (and other venues around Warwick) when filming took place in 2006 for the Doctor Who episode entitled The Shakespeare Code. • One of the oldest boys’ schools in
the country – that’s the claim to fame of independent school Warwick School which is said to date from 914, although the precise date of founding is unknown. What is known, however, is that there was a grammar school in the town since before the Norman Conquest. • One of only two surviving medieval
ducking stools in England can be found in the Norman crypt of St Mary’s Church. These stools were used to punish disorderly women – the offender was strapped into a chair at the end of a beam and immersed in a pond or stream, the length of immersion being based on the crime committed and the discretion of the operators.