Old Wardour Castle

Wiltshire, England

City/Town/Village: Ansty
District: Wiltshire
County: Wiltshire
Latitude/Longitude: 51.0361, -2.0928
Postcode: SP3 6RR
(postcode is for sat-nav purposes only, and may not represent the actual address of the castle)


English Heritage

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Set in the peaceful Wiltshire countryside beside a lake, Old Wardour Castle, near Tisbury was once one of the most daring and innovative homes in Britain. It was built in the 14th century as a lightly fortified luxury residence for comfortable living and lavish entertainment. Today the castle ruin provides a relaxed, romantic day out for couples, families and budding historians alike. An audio tour, included in the ticket price, tells of Old Wardour's eventful past and the fighting it saw during the Civil War. The badly damaged castle became a fashionable romantic ruin, and in the 18th century was incorporated into the landscaped grounds of the New Wardour House (not managed by English Heritage, no public access to New Wardour House or grounds). Today, visitors can still climb the turrets and even imagine themselves as extras in the Hollywood blockbuster movie, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, part of which was filmed here.
Adults: £3.80
Children: £1.90 (5-15 yrs)
Concessions: £3.20
EH Member Cost: Free

Information from English Heritage website

Old Wardour Castle is a Listed Building. Here's what the official description says about it:

ST 92 NW (east side)

4/20 Old Wardour Castle
(previously listed in Tisbury C.P.)

Partly in Tisbury C.P. Castle, now ruin. 1390s for John, fifth
Lord Lovel, remodelled 1570s for Sir Matthew Arundell by Robert
Smythson. Limestone ashlar. Hexagonal plan with projecting towers
flanking north entrance, enclosed hexagonal courtyard. Two
storeys, 6 windows to entrance. Central 1570s round-arched doorway
with block rustication to pilasters, shell-headed niches either
side, Latin inscription over records rebuilding date, hall above
lit by two large C14 pointed windows with missing tracery, corbels
for machicolation over, flanking towers have four symmetrically
placed 2-light Tudor-arched windows and moulded string course with
rosettes to former parapet. Other sides have groups of three
Tudor-arched lights some being blind to complete the symmetry. The
south west wall has been completely destroyed, together with parts
of west and south walls. Interior of courtyard has fine classical
doorway of 1570s to foot of stairs; round arch with fluted
pilasters to Doric entablature, spandrels and plinths decorated
with lions' heads. Main feature of interior is first floor hall
over entrance with screens passage and services to south east end,
vaulted undercrofts and entrance passage below, other apartments
including the lord's chambers were in 3-storey ranges to west and
south of the hall. Castle partly destroyed during Civil War sieges
of 1643 and 1644, replaced by James Paine's Wardour Castle (q.v.)
in 1776 when bailey (q.v.) laid out as pleasure gardens. Scheduled
ancient monument, Wiltshire No 243.
(DOE Guide - Old Wardour Castle, 1968; M. Girouard, Robert
Smythson and the Elizabethan Country House, 1983)

Listing NGR: ST9386226334

Information from British Listed Buildings

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