Secrets of Great British Castles (2015–…): Season 1, Episode 3 - Warwick Castle - full transcript

Today Warwick Castle is a popular tourist attraction, but for centuries its walls echoed with the sounds of betrayal, bloodshed, murder and financial ruin. Dan Jones reveals the turbulent ...

DAN JONES: For me a great British castle
is a fortress, a palace, a home.

And a symbol of power, majesty and fear.

For nearly a thousand years,

castles have shaped
Britain's famous landscape.

These magnificent buildings have been home

to some of the greatest heroes
and villains in our national history.

And many of them
still stand proudly today,

bursting with incredible stories
of warfare, treachery, intrigue,

and even murder.

Join me, Dan Jones,

as I uncover the secrets
behind six great British castles.

This time, I'm at Warwick Castle.

This stunning palace has been home
to medieval warriors,

royal mistresses and Hollywood actors.

But for many of them,
the castle has been too hot to handle.

Warwick's big and it's beautiful,

but it has a nasty habit
of bringing its owners to their knees...

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One of the last Earls of Warwick
to live here in the castle

went by the stage name Michael Brooke,

but he was better known
as the Duke of Hollywood.

Blink and you'll miss him,

but he's here in a film from the 1930s

starring alongside
David Niven and Errol Flynn.

He lived an incredibly glamorous life
out in Hollywood,

but the reality was that underneath it
he was scrabbling around to earn a crust,

crippled by the cost
of running this place.

When he was out in Hollywood,
Brooke gave an interview to Life magazine

which tells you everything
you need to know

about his situation as Earl of Warwick.

He says, "The earl's armor and art
are worth $16 million,

"this castle has 200 servants,
20 square miles of grounds

"and 24 downstairs dining rooms."

That he was taking a movie job

so he could afford
the great expense of being earl.

He says, "If I made $5,000 a week
that would not be sufficient.

"I hardly have pin money," he complained.

The Duke of Hollywood
wasn't the first Earl of Warwick

to feel that the castle
was getting on top of him.

It's a massive fortress.

And it's always come
with serious obligations.

Built on a natural cliff
at a bend of the river Avon,

this castle is pretty much
bang in the middle of England.

Today it has neat lawns
and picturesque gardens.

It's surrounded
by a huge 500-meter curtain wall

with a massive barbican gatehouse
and seven great towers.

But it wasn't always this pretty.

The first castle was built here
by William the Conqueror

during the Norman Conquest in 1068.

Back then it was little more
than a wooden fort

on top of a hill known as a motte.



All the same,
it was a crucial military base.

Commanding it was a big responsibility.

A thousand years ago, this was a place
of vital strategic importance.

From Warwick, you could
control Wales to the west,

the roads to Scotland in the north,

and England all around you
from the midlands.

William the Conqueror knew that,

which was why, as he moved north
two years after the Conquest,

he left his most trusted men here,
as constables of the castle.

Eventually those men were rewarded
for their loyalty with the title of earl.

So right from the start,
the earls who kept Warwick Castle

were expected to be
trusted henchmen of the king.

At the end of the 13th century,

Edward I made William Beauchamp
Earl of Warwick.

His descendants became
one of the most important

and wealthy families in the land.

The Beauchamps' family mausoleum

is just around the corner
from Warwick Castle,

in the church of St. Mary.

And it shows how spectacularly well
they did out of being close to the Crown.

You don't see many royal tombs
as splendid and ornate as this.

This is Richard Beauchamp,
Earl of Warwick,

the man who this whole place
is about, really.

No wonder this is one
of the richest people

not just of his time, but of all time.

This was the guardian of kings,
this was the friend of kings,

this is one
of the greatest soldiers of his day.

And it made him
a fantastic amount of money.

The Beauchamp family
kept the earldom of Warwick

and the castle for seven generations,

serving nine of England's kings.

As well as building themselves
whacking great golden tombs,

the Beauchamps
piled money into Warwick Castle.

They put up that huge curtain wall,

and added many of the enormous towers
that still stand today.

It was all proof that in the Middle Ages,

it paid to be
a loyal servant of your king.

Because if he can count on your bravery,
your loyalty, or even your duplicity,

he'll reward you with all the wealth
and the power you can imagine.

But all of this wealth and power
could come at a cost.

For as one Beauchamp earl discovered,

if you turned from being a king's friend
into his enemy,

then holding Warwick Castle
wasn't a blessing, it was a curse.

Warwick Castle was built by earls
who amassed their fortunes

through friendship with English kings.

The tenth earl was Guy Beauchamp.

He lived at the end of the 13th century,

and helped the warrior king Edward I
fight his brutal wars with Scotland.

But in 1307 Edward died,

and was succeeded
by his feckless son, Edward II.

This Edward was idle, immature
and politically naive.

Worst of all, he was obsessed
with his best friend and confidante,

a French knight called Piers Gaveston.

Gaveston was loathed by Guy Beauchamp,

and Warwick Castle
became the center of a covert plot

to get rid of the King's toxic companion.

Gaveston and Edward were lifelong friends.

We don't know if they were lovers,

if they were blood brothers
or if they were something else.

What we do know,
is Gaveston annoyed the hell

out of the other English nobles.


He was rude, he was obnoxious
and he made up funny nicknames for them.

His nickname for Guy Beauchamp
was the Black Dog of Arden.

Gaveston occupied
all of Edward's time and attention.

Instead of crushing the Scots
on the battlefield,

as his father had done,

Edward simply hung out with his best mate,
wasting time and taxation.

To men like Guy Beauchamp,

who had built his name, and his castle,
on fighting in royal wars,

this was incredibly frustrating.

But worse than anything else,
Gaveston distracted the King

at a time when England
needed strong leadership.

Eventually, Beauchamp
and a group of other nobles

decided that something had to be done.

In 1311, a group of earls,
lead by Guy Beauchamp

and the King's cousin, Thomas,
Earl of Lancaster,

drew up an incendiary document
they called the Ordinances.

These were a set of rules
designed to rein in the young king

and to get rid of Gaveston,

the man they described
as his most evil counselor.

If you want to get an idea
for just how much

the English earls hated Gaveston,

it's here in the ordinance
that relates to him.

So they say, "Piers Gaveston
has led the Lord King astray,

"counseled him badly
and persuaded him deceitfully

"in many ways to do evil."

And it goes on, "He's gathered
to himself all the King's treasure,

"he's made the King take bad ministers,

"and he does all of this treacherously

"to the great disgrace
and loss of the realm

"and the manifold destruction
of the people."

And here's Gaveston's punishment,

he has to leave England
and all the King's realms

forever and without return.

The problem was, it wouldn't be long
before Gaveston was back

and England's earls
were having to consider

an even more drastic solution.

And Warwick Castle would be the key to it.

In 1312, Gaveston
broke the terms of his exile.

He came back to England.

He thought the King
could protect him from his enemies.

He was wrong.

As he passed through
the village of Deddington,

just 25 miles from Warwick,

Beauchamp and his men kidnapped Gaveston

and took him back to the castle.

Gaveston was imprisoned
in preparation for a trial.

Now, it was dressed up
to look like justice

but obviously it was nothing of the sort.

He was brought to the great hall
of the castle to face his judges.

On one side was Gaveston.

Across the room were his enemies,
Guy Beauchamp,

the King's cousin Thomas,
Earl of Lancaster,

and many of the barons
he had spent so much time insulting.

This was a kangaroo court.

As soon as he was brought in,
Gaveston's fate was sealed.

After a short hearing,

in which he was not allowed
to speak in his own defense,

he was convicted as a traitor
and sentenced to death.


Gaveston was taken from Warwick Castle
to nearby Blacklow Hill.

He was dragged kicking
and screaming, begging for mercy.

He would receive none.

"In the hollow of this rock was beheaded,

"on the first day of July, 1312,
by barons lawless as himself,

"Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall."

I love that, "Barons
as lawless as himself."

We know exactly
who we're talking about here,

Lancaster, the King's cousin,
but also Guy Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.

When the King found out about Gaveston

he was apoplectic and he swore revenge
on the men who had done it.

Lancaster was dead within 10 years,
Beauchamp was dead within three,

and it looked as though
the family name was ruined forever.

But not for long.

Just 12 years later, Edward II
had himself been deposed and murdered.

His son, Edward III, took over.

And Guy's son, Thomas,
soon had the new king's ear.

The earls of Warwick
and their castle could rise again.

This is the tomb of someone
who was very close to kings.

This is Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick,

and you can see he's dressed here
in his chainmail and his plate armor.

This is a man who fought the French
in the Hundred Years' War.

And the fact he's been buried,
or represented after death as a soldier,

tells you how
he would have thought of himself.

Here he's lying hand in hand
with his wife,

but in life he'd have gone hand in hand
with the king.

Edward III transformed England

into one of the most
formidable military powers in Europe.


Thomas Beauchamp and his family
helped to smash the French,

and you can still see
the rewards they earned today.

Thomas Beauchamp fought
at some of the most famous engagements

at the Hundred Years' War,
Crecy, Poitiers, the siege of Calais.

He was known as the Devil Warwick.

And entire French towns
would surrender or flee in terror

when they heard he was coming.

For his loyalty and his bravery,

the King rewarded him
with money, land and titles.

The booty the Beauchamps earned
while fighting overseas

was pumped back
into their castle in England.

In the 14th century,
they added a heavily fortified gatehouse

and barbican on the north-east wall.

The 12-sided, 40-meter tall Guy's Tower,

and the even taller
and more imposing Caesar's Tower.

But they didn't
just expand the castle upwards.

They went down, too.

Deep below Caesar's Tower lies a dungeon
that once held prisoners captured

during England's war with France.

It was one of the most
feared dungeons in Europe.

In fact, it was such a rotten,
filthy place to end your days

that the French came up
with a special name for it,

the oubliette.

Oh God... Well I can see a
very small hole.

Tell, what's the thinking behind this?

Well, it's as the name implies.

Derived from the French
oublier, "to forget."

They would take a prisoner
and they'd put him down this hole

and literally forget about him.

JONES: Absolutely terrible.

From the look of it, I reckon
I could just about fit down there.

Well, let's give it go then.

I'm going to take my jacket off
if you take that grill away.

It is absolutely tiny, I mean,
I can fit my feet down there.

Oh dear.

God, it gets colder
as soon as you squeeze in.

EDWARDS: It's a tight squeeze,
watch yourself.

JONES: I'm just trying
to fit my shoulders in

and if you pass me my torch...

Thank you.


Well, it's cold, it's dark.

I mean, this is just about
as grim as it gets.

You're right here
at the very base of the castle.

And what's weird is just that silence.

You know, you've got
feet upon feet of rock all around you.

I can see up here
what I guess would have been the latrines,

so God knows what would have come
flying down here and rolling down.

So I'm basically imprisoned
in a sewer down here.

EDWARDS: Exactly right.

God, that's disgusting.

EDWARDS: And in complete darkness.

JONES: And that must
drive you mad eventually.

EDWARDS: If you look at prisoners
who have been kept in confined spaces

for, uh, greater lengths of time,

a lot of them will develop
complete character disintegration.

They'll be hyper-sensitive
to stimuli of any sort.

Violent hallucinations are not uncommon.

JONES: I think I'm getting some
of those already, actually.

Um, oh dear.

So how long do you think you'd last?

EDWARDS: Well, if you'd truly been
forgotten, and you weren't fed or watered,

maybe you would have lasted
anything from three weeks

to a couple of months.

JONES: So in a way it would probably
be worse to die of starvation

than to be fed and kept in here
going madder and madder?

EDWARDS: You try to cry but you can't cry
because you've got no tears.

JONES: My God.

EDWARDS: Your mucus membranes
would break down

and you'd bleed from your nose and mouth.

You break down in sores, you bleed.

Eventually you start to get
more physiological effects

like renal failure
or the heart shuts down.

So once you're down in the oubliette

it's a one-way ticket,
you're not coming out.

EDWARDS: That's absolutely right.

JONES: In the 1440s,

the long line
of Beauchamp male heirs ran out.

The Warwick title, and the castle,
now passed by marriage

to one of the most notorious men
of the whole Middle Ages, Richard Neville.

Or as he's better known,
Warwick the Kingmaker.

Neville was the central player
in The Wars of the Roses,

a bitter conflict between
the rival English royal houses

of Lancaster and York.

Both of them
claimed the crown for themselves.

Their long and bloody struggle
for supremacy tore England apart.

And one of its most dramatic episodes
was played out here at Warwick Castle.

For more than 30 years,
royal authority in England collapsed,

and the Crown was fought over
by factions each aiming

to put their own king on the throne.

And in the middle of them all
was Richard Neville,

Warwick the Kingmaker.

Richard Neville was clearly
a very ambitious man

who'd done very well,
he'd married into a great earldom.

He was also a very calculating,
manipulative sort of guy

who always backed himself
to play factions off against one another

and come out
with the best possible result for himself,

for his family and for the dynasty
he was trying to create.

And that relentless, ruthless ambition
meant that Neville would go to any lengths

to achieve his ends,
including high treason.

In the 1450s, Neville
and a small group of other noblemen

rebelled against King Henry VI,
a weak, vacillating monarch

who was simply not cut out for kingship.

They succeeded in deposing Henry.

In his place, Neville helped
to put a new king,

Edward IV of the house of York.

As a reward
for helping Edward take the throne,

Neville expected almost limitless power,
territory and titles.

But before long,
Edward and Neville had fallen out,

and the Kingmaker
had taken spectacular revenge.

In Warwick's Machiavellian mind,

Edward was going to be
the sort of king he could push around,

a puppet if you like.
But it didn't work out like that.

At the beginning of his reign,
Edward married in secret

and Neville was forced
to watch as power drained away from him

towards the King's new in-laws.

He was never gonna put up with that.

In a bid to regain the power he'd lost,

Neville masterminded another rebellion.

In 1469 he led an army against Edward.

Edward's forces were defeated in battle
and the King was taken prisoner.

Warwick brought him to the castle,
threw him in Caesar's Tower,

and began to rule England himself.

Neville thought he had power in England
all sewn up, but he was wrong.

He'd reached the limits of his ambition.

The other English nobles
refused to accept Neville

ruling over them.

As England dissolved into chaos,
disorder, and lawlessness,

Neville realized he had no choice
but to let Edward go free.

But the struggle for the English throne,
was far from over.

Six months later, Edward
was back with troops

supplied by the Duke of Burgundy.

He met Neville at the Battle of Barnet.

Their armies clashed in the fog,
and in the confusion,

Neville's army attacked itself.

Neville tried to flee on horseback
but he was captured and cut down.

Neville's death wasn't enough for Edward.

No one locked up kings of England
in their castle and got away with it.

He had Neville's corpse
brought to St. Paul's Cathedral in London

so that everybody could see
what happened to kingmakers in the end.

For generations,
earls of Warwick had benefitted

from being close to the Crown,
but Richard Neville had taken it too far.

He'd juggled kings like they were oranges.

He'd tried to run England
as the power behind the throne

and eventually his ambition
had got the better of him,

leaving him lying dead and naked
on public display at St. Paul's Cathedral.

During the century and a half
that followed Neville's death,

the castle fell slowly into disrepair.

But it remained
at the center of British history.

Its towers and chambers
held everyone from princes to poets.

And with them came drama,

including a murder
that would shock the entire nation.

In the early 17th century,
Warwick Castle was in a sorry state.

The walls and the gardens
were slowly falling into disrepair.

One of the mightiest castles
of the Middle Ages

looked like it was drifting
into scruffy retirement.

Then, in 1604,
the castle was given as a gift by James I,

to a politician called Fulke Greville.

But that gift would become a curse.

Fulke Greville wasn't just a politician,
he was a poet, an author,

a friend of Shakespeare and Bacon,
and a favored courtier of Elizabeth I.

When he was given Warwick castle
as a reward for his loyal service,

it was basically a dump.

He had to throw £20,000,
that's £4 million now,

into refurbishing it.

But he set Warwick Castle
on the road to becoming what it is today.

Fulke also used his time at the castle

to produce a string
of acclaimed plays and books.

They included a biography
of Sir Philip Sidney,

another famous poet
who may have been one of Fulke's lovers.

He continued in Crown service,
and earned himself and his family

the title of Baron Brooke.

But if Fulke's life at the castle
sounds tranquil,

it certainly didn't end up that way.

Fulke Greville lived
to the ripe old age of 73,

but he didn't die peacefully in his bed.

One evening, as he was coming back
from the toilet,

his manservant was doing up his trousers.

But unfortunately for Fulke,
the manservant bore a grudge.

He'd just found out how much money
he was being left in his master's will,

and it wasn't very much.

The manservant's name was Ralph Haywood,

and he'd expected
to be handsomely rewarded

for his long service
to the lord of Warwick Castle.

He wasn't just disappointed.
Haywood was boiling with rage.

Drawing a long blade,
Haywood stabbed his master twice

before turning the blade on himself.

Fulke was seriously wounded.

But he was also seriously rich.

As one of the most
powerful men in England,

he had access to the best medical care
the 17th century had to offer.

Exactly what that treatment was
is detailed in a letter

written at the time
by another English nobleman.

It offers an extraordinary insight
into the grisly world

of 17th century A&E.

Let's work out what was going on here.

"Greville was coming from stool,"

he's just been to the loo,

"and his servant was trussing up
his lord's point,"

he was doing his trousers.

"He drew a knife and stabbed Greville
twice in the left side,

"once a flesh wound, a lower blow,

"and once between the lower ribs
and the back, perhaps mortal."

Anatomically, talk me
through what this means.

Well, I think what we have to do
is take ourselves back

and, uh, look at the weapon
that inflicted the injury.

This is the sort of knife
that would have been used, right?

well, it's a good starting point.

Obviously this is a ballock knife.

-And, uh,

it's made for one purpose
and one purpose only.

That's to penetrate as deep as possible,

do as much damage
as possible with stab wounding.

And if we go to the, uh, model here
I can just demonstrate.

-So we've got one low flesh wound.

The low flesh would I think
would have been more towards the back,

striking bone
or just not penetrating tissue.

Then he has another go,
entering perhaps about here.

-Tickling the bottom of the spleen,

and maybe going into, uh,
transverse colon which is here.

-And this layer of fat is called omentum,

and this is small bowel.

What may well have happened
is that part of the bowel,

or some of this omentum,
may have even protruded

through, uh, the stab wound.

JONES: So this is...

EDWARDS: This is animal fat,
this is, in fact, a length of bowel

and this film-like material here,

perforated with blood vessels and fat,
is omentum. Or kell.

So, you're a 17th century surgeon,

what are you gonna do
with this animal kell here?

Probably what they did was
to take some of this,

not necessarily with the bowel,

but pack it into the wound
or around the area

where the bowel had been prolapsing.

For the day,
this is top-level medical science.

What's the thinking behind it?

Well, the thinking is that
if you have omentum that's prolapsed out

and has necrosed,
you want to replace it with something.

And if there's a perforation in the bowel,
you want to cover the bowel

and stop it drying out.

So what better thing to use
than what looks like what's come out?

Which is this sort of stuff.

"They put corrupted fat around the wound
in the belly, which putrefied."

What did... Talk me through that.

This has no blood supply,
this is foreign material.

It would cause a reaction
and, uh, it would get infected.

He's in terrible pain
and he remains in increasing pain

up until the day he dies
30 days later, in abject misery.

So if there's a message here, number one,

watch out for your manservant
when you're just coming off the loo.

Number two, if you do get stabbed,
don't put animal fat on it.

I think that's pretty accurate, yes.

JONES: And as a medical man, I'm pretty
sure you're not surprised by that.

JONES: Fulke never married,
but his title of Baron Brooke

passed to his cousin
and adopted son, Robert.

Warwick Castle would stay
in the Greville family for generations.

So it was the Grevilles
who held the castle

during the English Civil War,
which broke out in the 1640s.

Robert Greville, the new Baron Brooke,
was a key commander

for Oliver Cromwell's parliamentarians
in their fight against King Charles I.

Robert turned Warwick Castle
from a country house

into a bristling military garrison,
packed with men and weapons.

The windows in Guy's Tower were enlarged

so that the defenders
could fire hand-cannons out of them.

When the castle was besieged
by royalist forces in 1642, it held out.

Robert also transformed
the castle into a prison

to hold captured royalist prisoners.

And inside its rooms
there are poignant reminders

of the Civil War
literally carved into its walls.

JONES: What have we got over here?

AARON MANNING: A very, very potent symbol
of the 17th century.

-That's a fleur-de-lis, right?
-The fleur-de-lis, exactly.

And essentially what you're seeing here is
the symbol of the king,

you know, the symbol of Charles I,
and this is very much a way of prisoners

who were locked in here
during the Civil War,

of letting everybody know that they
are a royalist and they serve the king.

This is kind of, if you like, the visual
reminder of those prisoners being here.

So what fascinates me about this is,
I mean, the rock isn't hard, but look,

it would take a long time
to scratch something like that.

And you can just imagine
a bored prisoner sitting maybe

in this window seat, just scratching away.

This would have taken hours, wouldn't it?

Absolutely, you can really tell these

prisoners have got a lot of time
on their hands

to really be able to get those
beautiful curves of that fleur-de-lis.

And actually, if I take you into
the next room we have some other

-really, really incredible pieces.
-Sure, lead the way.

Just inside here we had this
one name in the other room,

we didn't think too much about it,
and that was until a few months ago

when we came into this room.
And we came into this corner

and we shone a light on the wall,

and essentially
what we found was this here.

So, you can see a really
wonderful date just there.

JONES: We can see 1642 and what's
this name underneath?

William Stanley.

William Stanley, absolutely.

And then directly underneath
is another very recognizable name.

JONES: Edward Disney.

MANNING: The Disneys originally,
it is believed, came from a little village

in Lincolnshire called Norton Disney.

Edward Disney, we believe,
was at the battle of Edgehill.

For all the towers and all the rooms
and all the fantastic entertainment here,

you can tell so much about
the history of the castle just from

this square foot of space.

So probably the greatest symbol
I think we have of, kind of,

a stand against Warwick Castle
is actually in this room here.

So what we've got here is
graffiti by a Scottish prisoner

who's been fighting on
the royal side in the Civil War.

"William Sutherland, prisoner
here taken at Worcester

"in the defense of King Charles II,
King of Great Britain, France and Ireland,

"defender of the faith whom
I pray God long preserves."

With the beautiful date there, anno 1651.

It's amazing isn't it? That it's still
survived, what, 450 years,

and this is as clear as if
it was scratched in yesterday.

So in a way, it's because Warwick Castle
was a parliamentarian stronghold

that all of this still survives,
otherwise it would just have

been rubble on the ground.

Absolutely, it is pure luck
that we are still here today.

The Greville family had profited
handsomely from being

on the winning side in the Civil War.

And little by little they began to restore
Warwick Castle to its former glory.

But not as a fortress.

The state rooms were refitted
and filled with the most

expensive furniture and art of the day.

By the end of the 17th century,
the castle was quite

literally fit for a king.

William III paid a visit in 1695.

The Grevilles built new guest rooms
and a stunning conservatory,

refitted the chapel,
and added a new stable block.

By the 18th century, things had moved on.

So the Greville family
landscaped the gardens,

raised the level of the courtyards,

and invited Canaletto
to come and paint the place.

This wasn't a military garrison anymore,
bristling with soldiers,

it was a country pile,
somewhere to invite your mates up

from London for the weekend.

Warwick was a castle built on the
spoils of war.

But in peacetime, it would
overwhelm the Grevilles.

At the turn of the 18th century,
the family was £115,000 in debt.

Today that would be about £9 million.

By the start of the 1800s,
the cost of running this place

had left the Greville family
teetering on the verge of bankruptcy.

They must have felt that Warwick Castle
was a poisoned chalice

draining their resources.

And perhaps they even cursed
the name of their ancestor

who'd been awarded the place
back in 1605, Fulke Greville.

So as the Victorian era beckoned,

the Greville family's fortunes
hung in the balance.

Warwick Castle was still one of the most
lavish country retreats in the land,

but beneath the glamour
lay a truly scandalous story.

By the late 19th century,
Warwick Castle was one of the most

dazzling aristocratic homes in Britain.

It was packed with fine art and
decorated in the most fashionable styles,

all at vast cost to the
Greville family who owned it.

And one family member was
determined to enjoy it.

She was the wife of the fifth earl,
Frances Evelyn Greville,

Countess of Warwick.

Better known as Daisy.

She was the "It Girl" of her day, a famous
beauty who was connected to royalty.

But beneath her glamorous lifestyle,
things weren't quite as they seemed.

Daisy and her husband were members
of the elite Marlborough House set.

This was a gathering of the great
and the good of Edwardian high society,

led by the Prince of Wales,
the future king, Edward VII.

Daisy drank with them,
socialized with them

and in many cases, slept with them.


Some of her amorous conquests
were played out here

in her Blue Boudoir at Warwick Castle.

And if her name reminds you
of a certain song,

it's because that song was
actually written about her.

Daisy was a woman of many affairs.

For nine years she was
mistress of the Prince of Wales.

She was so indiscrete she was
known as "Babbling Brook."

And she was so broke,

she tried to sell her memoirs of
sleeping with the heir to the throne.

In 1928, Daisy was persuaded
to submit her memoirs

to an editor before publishing them.

At the time, her book still seemed
like a scandalous kiss-and-tell,

but it has since been regarded
as one of the best accounts

of Edwardian high society.

Like so many who lived here,
Daisy found the castle and the lifestyle

she was expected to maintain,
an impossible drain on her resources.

In later life Daisy abandoned
her wilder excesses

and became a passionate
socialist and philanthropist.

But Warwick Castle's connection
with high society would live on.

In 1928, Daisy's 16-year-old
grandson, Charles Greville,

became the last earl
to live at Warwick Castle.

Not that he spent much time here.

Charles wanted to be a film star.

And he went to Los Angeles
to crack the movies.

He used the stage name Michael Brooke,
although he was better known

by nicknames like the Duke of Hollywood
and Warwick the Filmmaker.

But his film career tanked.

And so did his fortune.

The cost of the castle forced him
to sell family heirlooms

and much of his armor collection.

Eventually, in 1978, the castle
itself was sold, to one of Britain's

most famous entertainment
companies, the Tussauds Group.

The castle is still going strong.
But the earls of Warwick are long gone.


These days, Warwick Castle
is a tourist attraction,

open to the public 364 days a year.

But for all the family fun, the games
and the entertainment that goes on in

Warwick Castle today,
the greatest legacy remains

the notorious and outrageous stories
of its thousand-year history

and the earls who lived here,
and rightly so.

You know, in their own way, all the owners

of Warwick Castle have
been close to the Crown.

You've got Fulke Greville,
a senior politician,

but a man who could also
make the Queen laugh.

Over the other side of this church
you've got the Beauchamps,

guys who slaughtered their way
around France at the side of the King,

but who would also kill the King's
favorites when it needed to be done.

And in between them you've got
the ultimate, Richard Neville,

the Kingmaker, the man who wasn't
just friends with kings,

but would play them off
against each another.

Powerbrokers, agents of intrigue,
tragic heroes or glamorous socialites,

many of the inhabitants of Warwick Castle
have paid a high price for its ownership.

Quite a few of them even
paid with their lives.

But ironically it's their memory
and their stories which keep

the turnstiles turning today.

For every famous or infamous
character that's been through here,

the castle has outlived them all.