A Historical Romp Through England

A Historical Romp Through England

England is awash with historical landmarks and history you’ve read about in books. From the Wars of the Roses to the execution of Anne Boleyn, England’s fascinating, and sometimes sordid, history is still visible across the country at locations where history has been preserved for hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of years.

What was once a small province ruled by the Roman Empire, became the greatest power in the world and held the most overseas territories of any country in history. Today, you can still visit castles, ruins, and locations from the time of kings and queens who ruled with iron fists.

Hadrian’s Wall

England history

Almost 2,000 years ago a 73-mile wall was erected at the orders of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. This wall spans the coast of Northern England and was used to protect newly won land by the Romans. Today, you can see original parts of the wall and even touch some stones. Before the wall rose to prominence and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, companies were dismantling sections to use the rocks in newer constructions. Talk about a souvenir!

Warwick Castle

Built almost 1,000 years ago in 1068 by William the Conqueror, this castle was home to the powerful Warwick family for centuries. Its most notable inhabitant was Richard Neville, known as the “Kingmaker” for his part in the Wars of the Roses (it didn’t end well for him). Today, tour the castle and see the dungeon, trebuchet, and living quarters of the Countess of Warwick from the 19th century.

Tower of London

The Tower of London was used to execute everyone from our friend the Earl of Warwick to the infamous Anne Boleyn. It was home to the priceless Crown Jewels, the stomping ground of the quirky Beefeaters, and the mysterious ravens. According to legend, if there are less than 6 ravens at the Tower, both the Tower and monarch of England will fall.

Also built by William the Conqueror in 1078, the tower as we know it today is a sight to behold right in the center of London.

Stratford Upon Avon

This small market town north of London only has around 27,000 inhabitants but sees over 2.5 million tourists a year. The quaint and humble Stratford dates back over 1,000 years and offers visitors cobblestoned streets and old village inns with authentic British food. Its rise to popularity and even fame arose after playwright William Shakespeare became a household name. 

Tour the town and see the residences of both Shakespeare and his family before and after he died. You can even tour a museum that offers an interactive walking tour where you’ll travel back in history to the time of the Tudors. Walk alongside a Shakespeare impersonator who will give you a history lesson about himself and his many works.

Stonehenge

The oldest site on this list, Stonehenge dates to 3000 BC. The ring of stones stands 13 feet high and 7 feet wide; each weighs about 25 tons. A modern mystery, scientists still can’t figure out how it got there or why. Guesses to its purpose include a burial ground and meeting place. Today, tourists can visit the National Heritage Site owned by The Crown and see Stonehenge in all its historical glory.

Unfortunately, you can’t get too close anymore but can’t miss the towering structures against the green countryside backdrop.

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House was built by Beth of Hardwick in the 16th century, the richest person in all of England behind the queen. This spacious castle is situated on a river and has stunning views of the surrounding lush forests. The house is so large that the family that still resides there never see any tourists on their tour of certain rooms. Lucky visitors may get a glimpse of the Devonshire family though, if they happen to be outside enjoying the gardens.

Tour the spacious 35,000-acre grounds including parks, estates, and properties in the nearby village. It’s perfect for a day outside when the sun finally comes out.

By: Devyn Woolsey

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