Even before King Arthur’s Camelot became ubiquitous in pop culture, the notion of castles seemed to captivate people all over the world. The regal beauty and power of these medieval fortresses allowed many of them to remain awe-inspiring, even into modern times.
One English castle, however, might just give old Arty a run for his money—but not for the reason you might think. Astley Castle in North Warwickshire was actually abandoned until very recently. Empty and crumbling, it was far from the palatial estate it had once been.
That is… until it received an incredible facelift courtesy of a building preservation charity called Landmark Trust. Now, it might be even better than Camelot!
Initially constructed in the 12th century, the Astley Castle in North Warwickshire, England has seen its fair share of changes. Such as in 1266, for example, when it was given a moat, and in 1343, when it became a seminary.
It was also home to a number of England’s most famous people. No resident was perhaps more famous than the one and only Lady Jane Grey, who would go on to be known as the Nine-Day Queen.
Her father, Henry, the first Duke of Suffolk, rebelled against the monarchy after the death of Edward VI in 1553. He proclaimed that Jane was the rightful heir to the throne, but the proclamation failed after forces rallied to the side of the eventual Queen Mary I.
Ultimately, Lady Jane and her father were both beheaded for their actions. Evidently, Henry Grey was actually discovered hiding in a hollowed out oak tree at Astley Castle when he was captured.
In World War II, it was used as hotel. Astley Castle did have some falls from grace that led to its eventual abandonment. In 1978, it was badly damaged by a fire, believed to have been started by the then-owner.
Over the course of the next several decades, Astley Castle was totally stripped of any valuables and vandalized many times over. Sadly, it had become merely a shell of what it had once been.
Each room in the castle was decorated using great care. From the textile furnishings to the ceiling, every piece needed to fit into the mold that Astley Castle had already offered the designers. Nothing could seem out of place.
Staying overnight at Astley Castle sure does seem therapeutic, doesn’t it? Not to mention how cool it would be to be surrounded by some really significant pieces of history! If you’d like to check about availability, you can do so here.
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