Saturday, 17 December 2016

Astley Castle - Warwickshire

Less than ten miles to the east of Coleshill, where I was born in Warwickshire (pronounced Warickshire) was Astley Castle. My step father had a butchers shop at Arley and one day we took a delivery to the 'castle'.

The Astley family took possession of the estate in the 12th century and built a small manor house. In 1266 they received permission to crenelate the building, which they did and adopted the term castle. In 1555 the house was extended, with another floor added, and battlements kept in place.

In 1645 the castle was occupied by the Roundheads and more than 500 officers and men were garrisoned there. They didn't do much to improve the building and it fell into disrepair. In 1674 it was bought by the Newdigate family and remained their home until 1902.

Once again it languished but was eventually bought and turned into an hotel, which it was when we visited. In 1978 there was a disastrous fire and the building was all but destroyed.

As the new millennium got underway, English Heritage got together with the Landmark Trust and they rebuilt the house for holiday accommodation. The restoration was completed in 2012 and now you can stay in the castle.

as it was

CV10 7QN

as it now is

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