Old Wardour Castle

Old Wardour Castle are the remains of what was a unique 14th Century hexagonal castle.

Built in 1395 with a lakeside setting and surrounded by woodlands. The unusual structure was inspired by the fashionable six-sided castles that were being built in France and was the only one of this style in Britain at the time.

Under siege.

The demise of the castle started in 1643 during the English Civil War when a Parliamentarian Army demanded admittance to search for hiding Royalists. They were refused and laid siege. After 5 days the castle was threatened with complete destruction and the castle was surrendered by the owner, Lady Arundell, before it could be destroyed. The castle was placed under the command of a Parliamentarian Colonel, Edmund Ludlow, and used as a garrison.

Regaining the Castle.

In March 1644, Lady Arundell’s son, Henry, laid a counter siege to his own castle. He succeeded in blowing much of the castle up forcing the Parliamentary garrison to surrender.

Rebuilding.

The Castle and it’s lands remained with the Arundell family, instead of rebuilding they opted to build a new Palladian Style. 18th Century landscape architect & designer Lancelot “Capability” Brown, had a reputation for creating new landscapes on a grand scale. He had the task of re-landscaping the grounds at Wardour. He did so by creating a series of ponds linked together to create water features and  the ruin was kept as an ornamental centrepiece.

New Wardour Castle can be seen from the upstairs windows of the ruin.

The present.

In 1991 Old Wardour Castle appeared as the Ancestral home of Robert of Loxley in the film Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves, staring Kevin Costner.

It  was more recently used as a film location for The Journey to Aresmore, which is due to be released sometime in 2015.

This beautiful ruin is now under the care of English Heritage and is open daily.

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All images taken 23rd June 2015

 

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