From the 16th February to the 31st December 2013, Warwick Castle is opening to the public four secret rooms, spanning over 500 years of history. Tony Robinson of the Time Team and Blackadder was appropriately invited to be the guest celebrity and given the privilege of opening all four towers.
Battlements were constructed in the reign of Edward III to guard the castle entrance from invaders. Holes bored into the walls were to allow the soldiers to pour tar, other hot liquids and human waste on the enemy below. Not very pleasant for any enemy soldier trying to break in.
This tower was Tony Robinson`s favourite, built during Richard III`s reign and was used for bear baiting, where bears where brought in for entertainment to fight with a pack of dogs to the death. Actually Warwickshire County`s civic heraldry symbol is the Bear and Ragged Staff, which can be traced back to Warwick Castle in the 15th century and the use of bears for sport – see The East Gate’s front door knocker.
"Bear baiting used to take place around here. They would bring old bears from as far as away as Russia" - Toni Robinson
Below is the county flag of Warwickshire, depicting a bear tied to a tree stump.
Moving up the centuries we come to the haunted tower. The story goes that the ghost of Sir Fulke Greville still lives and haunts in this tower. He was a member of parliament and a writer and came to a gruesome end, when he was murdered by a treacherous servant.
During the English Civil War between the Round Heads and The Cavaliers, Warwick Castle was a stronghold for the Parliamentary Army and was partly under siege by the Royalists. The tower had been transformed to fire canons, instead of the out dated bow and arrow.