Old Wardour Castle

Things To See and Do

Entrance to the Castle

Begin your day out at our award-winning admissions building, designed to blend in with the castle’s picturesque setting. The newly-opened building is environmentally friendly, with a living grass roof. Inside you’ll find our ticket office, accessible toilets, and a selection of gifts and souvenirs.

Why not try our family game 'Can you Keep Your Castle?', helping young explorers learn more about the castle’s history.

Landscape view of Old Wardour

Pick up the audio guide

Take our free audio tour and hear the history of the castle brought to life. Don't miss the story of Lady Blanche Arundell, who courageously defended her home from a week-long siege - with just 25 men and her maidservants! The second siege later that year saw the castle battered into submission. The grounds were then transformed into a pleasure garden and romantic ruin.

The Great Hall

Explore the Great Hall

The Great Hall would have been one of the most elaborate rooms in the castle. Lord Lovell would receive and impress guests here, along with the Great Parlour, where the household would have played cards, embroidered and gossiped.

Above the stairs to the hall, you can see the swirling foliage in the ceiling and to the side, the four great windows framed by slender columns and carvings.

Find out more about the history of the castle.

The East Tower

The East Tower

Climb the atmospheric stone steps of the east tower and discover stunning panoramic views.

See the remains of the fireplace and latrines as you climb. When you reach the top room, your view is extended to the sky.

Look out across the castle's grassy lawns and lake, or admire the open countryside and woodland beyond.

Stonework at Old Wardour

Features in Stone

As you walk around the castle ruins, you'll find many interesting features in the stonework. One of these is a bust of Christ above the entrance, which would have shone in the sunlight.

In the wine cellar, see stone arches (or vaulting) around the walls, or find the chimney and fireplaces. Can you spot the plinths decorated with lions' heads?

Siege at Old Wardour

The Lovells and Arundells

Originally built by Lord John Lovell in medieval times, the castle passed through generations of this important family. It was then forfeited to King Henry VI and held by the Crown until 1461.

Old Wardour was later acquired by the Arundell family, who modernised and renovated. Adornments included the gilded bust of Jesus, a rather daring ornament in the Protestant reign of Elizabeth I (when religious imagery was inherently suspicious). The castle survived two sieges before abandonment, when New Wardour Castle was built nearby.

The Banqueting House

The Banqueting House

The charming little building overlooking the lake with Gothic battlements is thought to have been a place for refreshments for visitors to the castle in the 18th and 19th centuries. When not being used for wedding ceremonies, it can be visited and you can see the beautiful stained glass windows and a small exhibition on the history of the gardens. It's also a great place to enjoy views out over the lake and beyond.

Fireplace at Old Wardour

Picnic in the grounds

Surrounded by landscaped grounds and age-old trees, Old Wardour is a tranquil location for picnics and perfect for young adventurers to explore.

Little legs can run wild in green open spaces, and families love to explore the nearby grotto - like something from a fairy tale.