Last week’s visit to Warwick Castle and photos

Hot
Wow it’s hot today. 28′C at the moment. I think it’s the hottest this year so far. As I said on Thursday, I was unable to get my films developed on the 1 hour service and so I left them for collection yesterday.

Sunny
The weather was so good on Friday, we went to the zoo for a few hours in the afternoon and I finished off the last film I started at Warwick Castle. We went into the Woodland Birdwalk this time as we hadn’t been in there before. Unfortunately, there was little to see; I think they were all keeping out of the way. I saw a blackbird, a small mouse and a couple of rabbits from one of the ‘hides’. A bit further round were the ravens, and although I took some photos, I didn’t really expect them to come out well; it was very much in the shadows and without a flash I was taking at 1/8 second exposure. There seemed a lot more mara roaming around this visit.

Warwick Castle
This post seems to be working in reverse order. On Tuesday, we went out for the day to Warwick Castle. Warwick Castle is a scheduled ancient monument and grade 1 listed building owned by The Tussauds Group since 1978. The first castle on the site dates to 1068 when a Norman motte and bailey was built. The mound still stands at the west end of the castle. We went through the new ‘Dream of Battle’ experiance. This is about William, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick’s squire on the eve of his first battle in 1471.

After this we went to see the ‘Royal Weekend Party’ , a series of rooms decorated and themed for a Victorian weekend party. When we came out, we were by the entrance to the Undercroft restaurant, so we had lunch there. After lunch we had just missed the first birds of prey display, so we went to see them on their perches. On the way back from there, we saw the adult swans teaching their cygnets how to mug humans for food by looking cute.

We saw a demonstration by Warwick Warriors about arms and armour, during which they made a mess of a cabbage with a mace. Then we walked round the outside of the castle to the Mill and Engine House. The castle produced its own electricity in one of the country’s first hydro-electric power stations from 1894 until the arrival of mains electricity in 1940.

American Bald Eagle
We got back in time to see the second birds of prey display. I got some photos including some of ‘Batty’ the Bateleur Eagle when he landed on the speaker. The one of the Golden Eagle flying was out of focus, but I was quite happy with the one of the American Bald Eagle. As that finished we rushed over the bridge onto River Island for the Jousting. If anything they need to leave a bit of time between events; each one finishes as the next one starts.

Jousting
When the jousting started, and I heard the sound of a poor quality recording of a fanfare being played, I thought back to the ‘Knights of the Crusades’ at Dunstable carnival earlier this year and thought the worst. No problem, it was just part of the act and when the jester came out, he provided the introductions and kept it going, providing entertainment in the intervals while the riders got their breath. We had the normal good knights verses bad knights, with jousting, quintain, lancing of rings and finishing of with a grand melee. The knights are from Medieval World who were at Warwick Castle last year.

After the jousting, we walked up onto the mound and took some photos looking out over the castle and grounds before finally heading home.

My photos for Warwick Castle 31st July 2007 are in my gallery as are my Whipsnade Zoo 3rd August photos.

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