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A Medieval Army

In the run-up to Easter Sunday 1471 Warwick’s army were busy preparing for battle. Preparations were undertaken by many including the blacksmith, stonemason, treasurer, seamstress, cobbler, and, of course, the bowmen and soldiers. The Kingmaker attraction will take you on a journey through these preparations by immersing you in the sights, sounds and smells of medieval England.

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Richard Neville

But who was the Kingmaker?

In 1449, Henry VI bestowed upon Richard Neville, the husband of Anne de Beauchamp, the title Earl of Warwick. History was to know him better as Warwick the Kingmaker. The Wars of the Roses, which began in 1455 and ended with the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, was a prolonged struggle for supremacy between the Houses of York and Lancaster. The battle over who should control the king, or indeed, who should be king commenced.

Richard Neville’s family connections made him a Yorkist. He held a command at the Battle of St Albans in 1455 which resulted in a Lancastrian defeat and the capture of King Henry VI. By 1461 the Yorkists had won the first war of succession and Edward, son of the Duke of York, ascended the English throne as King Edward IV. As a reward for his help, Richard Neville rose to a position of great power, but when Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville behind Warwick’s back, he found his influence diminishing.

Plotting with Edward’s brother, George, Duke of Clarence, Warwick raised an army in 1469, took the king prisoner and held him briefly at Warwick Castle before moving him north to Middleham Castle. It proved impossible to rule through a captive king, and Edward was subsequently released. Warwick fled to France where, deserting his Yorkist allegiances, he offered his services to his old enemy, Margaret of Anjou, the exiled wife of Henry VI. They returned to England, caused Edward to flee, and restored the long imprisoned and highly manipulated Henry to the throne.

In March 1471, Edward landed back in England to break Warwick’s fragile hold on power and to reclaim the crown. On Easter Sunday 1471, at the Battle of Barnet, the fortunes of war were to take one final twist for the embattled Kingmaker.

Latest information for guests regarding Covid-19

Further to recent updates from the Government on the response to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, we have taken the very difficult decision to close Warwick Castle and Knight’s Village as a precautionary measure from Friday 20th March at 4pm, until further notice. While we always look forward to welcoming visitors, we believe that this decision is the right thing to protect the health and wellbeing of our employees and guests.

If you have pre-booked a short break or Warwick Castle tickets, please do not travel.

For guests with short breaks arriving up to and including 25th April 2020, we have relaxed our usual terms and conditions so you can now reschedule your break to another date in the 2020 season with no additional cost.*

Please complete the form here including your booking reference and the preferred date you would like to rearrange your booking to. Our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Warwick Castle will remain closed until further notice. We are in contact with the relevant authorities and will work to reopen the attraction to guests as soon as it’s appropriate to do so.

Please click here to find out how your booking is affected and who to contact if you need further assistance. *T&Cs apply.