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Old Wardour Castle


Old Wardour Castle is hexagonal and built in the late 14th century as a secure luxurious house for John, 5th Lord Lovel. It was badly damaged during the English Civil War, but it has survived. It's guest rooms were designed in the French style of the period.

It was vacated by the family in 1644 and when they returned in the 1680's it was too much of a ruin to live in, so they built a smaller residence just outside the castle wall. During the next 100 years they built and moved into New Wardour a little distance away, this is a private property today, and left the old castle as a decorative romantic ruin within the grounds.

The old castle, that you visit today, has no moat but is built on the side of a hill and has an enormous lake in it's grounds, which in fact is now difficult to see from the lower levels of the castle as it has trees all round it.

Other buildings on the site include:

A mock gothic style Banqueting House which is on the side of part of the lake, and in it's time would have been used for dining and entertaining. It was build around 1773-4 in the mock Gothic style that was popular at that time. It had a coloured fireplace of marble and stained glass windows which is believed to have come from New Wardour Castle, when the chapel was refurbished.

There is also The Grotto and Stone Circle. This was the last addition to the landscape in 1792 and built by a local craftsman Josiah Lane of Tisbury. He was a well-known building of garden ornaments and features and he was commissioned to build an artificial cave complete with dripping water, fossils and ferns using some stone from the ruins of the castle.

The grounds it is set in with the lake and wooded areas are good photographic subjects, as well as good places to have a picnic.

Some scenes in the Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves film with Kevin Costner, was filmed here.

To see the bigger picture click on the image you want to look more closely at

WardourCastle.jpg (41092 bytes)
Old Wardour Castle
taken from the car park. You can see there is a large wall on this side with the castle behind.

The picture on the right is inside the castle grounds. Taken whilst sheltering from the rain under the large trees and the main castle building is in the background.


WardourCastleBoys.jpg (38973 bytes)

NOTE: On the day we made this visit it rained, and there are few shelter spots from heavy rain, a shower you may get away with sheltering under the trees. However on sunny days it is a haven for local mums and their children, for birthday parties etc so there can be a lot of children running about and playing in the ruin so may take longer to get that perfect photo you are after. There is however lots of open space around the main castle so getting a good picture of the hole is not difficult.

The pictures shown here were taken prior to having Nikon DSLR cameras and we do intend to replace them.

Further information Grid


Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire

Ceremonial County: Wiltshire

Grid Reference:

ST 939263 - OS Map 184

Map Link:


Aerial photo:

Google Aerial Photo

Multimap Aerial Photo



Best Times to Visit:

During the summer months when visibility is good.





Other useful websites:



Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:  



Date Updated: 04/2008


Planning Grid


Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire

Grid Reference:

ST 939263 - OS Map 184

Getting there:

2 Miles SW of Tisbury off the A30. Can also be reached from A350, this route is narrow rural roads.


The drive to the castle is around small country lanes some of which are very narrow and windy with passing places.


It has it's own free car park, small amount of hard standing and the overflow goes onto the grass.


Audio Tour, Picnic Area, Toilets, Shop.

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

A hexagonal tower house around a central courtyard. It also has a mock gothic banqueting house and from certain points within the grounds there are views of a large fishing lake. Also a grotto and stone circle amongst the trees. Some colour shrubs out at certain points in the year.

What to take:

Camera, Tripod, Grads, Panorama kit, Flash for fill in.

Nature highlights:



Old Wardour Castle

Nr Tisbury





01747 870487

Opening times:

21 Mar-30 Jun and 1 Sep-30 Sep daily 10am to 5pm

1 Jul-31 Aug daily 10am to 6pm;1 Oct-31 Oct Daily 10am to 4pm

1 Nov-31 Mar Sat-Sun 10am to 4pm

Closed 24-26 Dec and 1 Jan


English Heritage Members - Free; Non-Members Adults 3.50; Children 1.80; Concession 2.80

Photo Restrictions:

No commercial photography is allowed in all their grounds, it is not permitted in some buildings for conservation purposes, usually a no photography symbol is present on entry to the building where this restriction is in place.

Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access: Disabled access to grounds and ground floor of castle only.
Special Needs Facilities: Adapted toilet - key from the Kiosk. Audio tours available, carvings to touch.
Children Facilities: Baby changing
Dogs Allowed: On leads

CIN Page Ref:


Date Updated: 04/2008

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote the CIN Page Ref at the bottom of the Planning Grid above. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

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