Old Wardour Castle
ST 939-263 Wiltshire England
Old Wardour Castle is an unusual late 14th century stone tower house, founded by John, Lord Lovel. The four storey hexagonal tower with its central courtyard that contains a well, is lightly fortified with two square towers flanking the entrance. It was built in a single-phase from 1393, when King Richard II granted the 5th Lord Lovel a licence to crenellate his house at Wardour. Positioned on a low projecting spur and encased by a parallel outer curtain wall, the gatehouse and outer ditch are now lost in the wooded high ground, behind the 18th century grotto. In the 1570s, Sir Matthew Arundell employed the architect Robert Smythson to decoratively remodelled his luxurious castle and he also rebuild the embattled curtain wall of the huge hexagonal outer court. In May 1643 during the Civil War, the castle was attacked by the Parliamentarian Sir Edward Hungerford and after a short siege the castle was surrendered to him. In December, Henry, 3rd Baron Arundell led a Royalist counter-siege, which lasted until March 1644 when the garrison once again surrendered. Badly damaged by mining and cannon fire, the castle ceased to be occupied and was replaced by New Wardour Castle in 1776, when the bailey was laid out as a landscaped pleasure garden. 17 miles north-east is Old Sarum Castle and 21 miles north-west is Nunney Castle.
Old Wardour Castle is located west of Ansty, off the A30. 16 miles west of Salisbury, on the A36-A30.
The site is owned by English Heritage and is open daily, April to September 10:00-6:00pm, October 10:00-5:00pm, Saturday and Sunday November to March 10:00-4:00pm.
There is a car park.