WAR­WICK FACTS

Cotswold Life - - COTSWOLD TOWNS -

• 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.

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