By C. LaRene Hall
In England, the castles were much the same, ancient. The first one we visited was the Alnwick Medieval Castle. They filmed the Harry Potter movie there. For over 700 years, this castle has been a family home. The English and Scots fought many battles here. I enjoyed watching the performance of the British Soldiers on the green.
I slept at the Durham Castle.
The next Castle on our agenda was the Raby Castle. The Nevell’s built this 14th century medieval castle. During the tour, I was surprised to learn that the garrison room has 20 feet thick walls. They built the chapel between 1364 and 1367. The most interesting room was the octagon drawing room.
Next, we crossed the River Tees and climbed a path up the large hill to arrive at the ancient ruins of the Bernard Balliol’s Castle. This is the largest medieval castle in northern England. If it had been a cooler day, I would have enjoyed my stroll among the ruins much more.
In Nottingham, they built this 17th century ducal mansion on the site of the original medieval castle. I enjoyed the wonderful landscaping with bushes shaped as Robin Hood and a knight on a horse. The other things I enjoyed seeing was the beautiful designs on the walkway near the entrance.
The largest castle ruin in England is the Kenilworth Castle. My heart ached as I wandered among the red sandstone remains. What a waste of so much history.
At the Warwick Castle, we explored towers, and dungeons. The entire day and evening was wonderful and everything I expected. I loved sitting below the castle on the bank of the Avon River and watching the trebuchet – a catapult – hurling projectiles. It was exciting to watch the knight putting armor on the squire then they battled it out in hand-to-hand combat. There were knights on horses and a jousting match. In the evening, we attended a five-course meal, the King Maker’s Feast.