England: Warwick's Little Secret...
Here I go again, another month meant another new adventure! Warwick had some unanswered questions so without further ado I got my act together, taking a train this time to that Warwickshire town. Warwick might be famous for its 1100 year old castle but I wanted to leave those castle walls to question that notion. Warwick, I think you need to step into the beat! Yes!
Serving Medieval 'Realness', Warwick Castle stood right before me! I had to admit that the castle was looking in very good condition for 1100 years old! I had been twice before my recent trip, therefore I didn't have a problem getting around the inner circle of Warwick's castle. Have you been to Warwick Castle? I worked at Walt Disney World in Florida, I can sniff out the competition within a quick second! No shade was thrown! No! Rewinding the clock to 914, the original castle was more of a mound. Crafted by Ethelfelda, that Anglo-Saxon princess used her fortress to protect Warwick during the early years. I learnt from the performers that Warwick Castle stands today in such good condition because of the lack of battles that were fought. History aside it was an international affair that September morning at Warwick Castle, to hazard a guess I heard four extra languages spoken excluding English! Right now, I am in limbo with higher education behind me, would Warwick tell me what to do next? Princess Ethelfelda, Slay!
Warwick Castle is another one of those typical voids that satisfy the American tourists to name a few, they are always gagged on the Medieval 'Realness' that Warwick's most famous castle serve to them! Flashback to my time when the world and their mother went 'crazy coo' over Buckingham Palace, I suppose we the British have a valiant history to be proud of?! That wasn't a question! Substituting the modern love I took a sneak peak inside the main castle buildings to admire the former opulent living quarters of the previous tenants, when can I move in Merlin? You might be thinking who's Merlin? Warwick Castle is owned by the Merlin Entertainment group, it's one of the many properties owned by the entertainment middleweight. I didn't waste my time dawdling around without a purpose so I got my snaps, saw what I needed and even contemplated climbing the almost four hundred steps around the castle tower. Give the castle a chance! Give it every chance! Sure! Warwick was a great help, I needed that change of scenery!
Unfortunately, we can't all be royal forever! No! Leaving Warwick's castle behind me to see some of the town was next on my list for the day. Warwick may only be a small town, facing facts I wanted to see as much as I possibly could! Yes! Stepping back to the year 1571 to understand the Earl of Leicester's plan! The Lord Leycester Hospital stood close to the town centre. Undoubtedly, the former 'hospital' oozed 11th century architecture 'Overness! The hospital element has never existed in a conventional sense, making sense of its ancient sense meaning 'a charitable instigation' to help the needy, infirm or aged. I wasn't fooled, this Warwick point of interest caught my attention, I wanted something authentic away from the castle. During the reign of 'Queen Elizabeth I' the hospital was under royal charter, commandeering the space for old and disabled soldiers who fought under her service. Modern day brethren and their wives still make a worthy level of contribution to ensure this historical gem. Do I need a Plan B? Yes!
Connected to the Lord Leycester Hospital, I found the Chapel of St. James the Great. The chapel had been built over the ancient West Gate that led back into Warwick around 1123 by Roger de Newburgh. Capturing a snap of the hospital took some doing but I just got on with it! Yes! Warwick Castle takes the shine from the Lord Leycester Hospital inevitably, let's keep it to the point I will always show my support to the underdog. My visit to the hospital would be self-navigated, being really honest, I don't like being part of a tour! No, thank you very much! The chapel was thankfully quiet, it gave me the impression it would be the perfect location for reflection or prayer? If that's your thing? Definitely not mine, that's all good. I bagged a student price for entrance, every little helps even though I'm no longer enrolled at an educational institution. I noticed within the quaint courtyard the architecture served some more medieval realness, I was living for that sight! It is a force of habit? I was in a cost conscious mood that day.
I had been attracted to Warwick, located close to Birmingham I was able to take the train easily. September 5th of 1694 brought the Great Fire of Warwick, this Warwickshire town suffered the burn of the fire! With the strength of the townspeople it was rebuilt, coming back up stronger! Featured above is the High Street, being one of the main streets in Warwick that was hit with the flames of 1694. Starting from a small flint of light from a burning branch that would be used for fire wood the wind must of been hearty to start that fire?! No I'm not a walking historian! To gain the knowledge of Warwick's catastrophe I trusted the views of the Market Hall Museum in the heart of Warwick's town centre. Are you a sucker for a slice of historical shade? Mapping the region of the four boroughs took a quick second to be familiar with the Sheldon Tapestry work. Who knew that Coventry was once a walled city with the spelling, Coventrie? Why had I not decided to visit this town during my Birmingham life? Warwick, I need to step it up! Oh, Jesus!
I appreciated what the castle showed me and with further research I really like the sound of Princess Ethelfelda! Even princesses have to start from somewhere! Blazing through the town like a torrent of flames the Great Fire of Warwick 1694 only took its toll on Warwick for a short time. If you're from a foreign land I urge you to visit Warwick town and its castle because it exudes that vibe you dream about a small town in the heart of England. The Lord Leycester Hospital challenged the conventional meaning of a hospital. Of course, life can be like a lesson! Take the time to take heed from the Market Hall Museum to understand Warwick's strong women that fought the Viking invasion during the Anglo-Saxon reign. Warwick lies thirty minutes away from Birmingham Snow Hill, so get those tickets booked! Leamington Spa looks good, I'm on a Warwickshire hype at the moment! So, watch out for a round up blog soon! Be the Queen of the castle or conquer a whole dominion? There are no more secrets left for me to tell!
Watch Out Warwick!