On the final Sunday of the ‘Heritage Open Days’, when historic venues across the country open their doors for free visits, our Court House Tours proved to be extremely popular.
A total of 50 people attended four separate tours, with guides Paula, Sue, Karen and Rick telling them the story of the Grade-1 listed building and its place in the history of the county town, dating back to Saxon times.
Guests heard about the construction of a fort by the river, ordered by King Alfred the Great’s daughter Aethelflaed as a defence against the marauding Danes, the building of a castle on the same site after the Norman invasion, the Great Fire of Warwick that destroyed the centre of the town, and the building of the present Court House/Town Hall in 1725.
They were also able to have a look inside the Town Council Chamber, and the Regency ballroom on the first floor, the scene of Warwickshire high society events and dances for nearly 300 years.
With foreign tourism restricted by the pandemic, most of the guests came from south Warwickshire, but some had come from further afield; one was visiting from Brighton and another couple had travelled from Bournemouth.
These tours brought to a close our summer season of free talks and walks around the Court House. We will hope to offer them again at selected weekends from Easter 2022.