Agincourt Places

Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire


By Dan Spencer

In 1415 Old Wardour Castle was owned by William, lord Lovell of Titchmarsh (born 1397), who also held the lordship of Minster Lovell, Oxfordshire and married Alice Deincourt sometime before August 1422.

Aged eighteen in 1415, he did not indent directly with the crown, but served in the company of Edward, duke of York. As a member of York’s retinue, he bought no men with him for the Agincourt campaign. He served again in 1416 and 1417 and throughout the 1420s and into the 1430s. His military career only ended in 1450 when he was a member of a force raised to protect London from Jack Cade’s Kentish rebels. He died in 1455.

Old Wardour Castle was constructed in the late fourteenth century, with John, fifth lord Lovell, receiving a licence to crenellate from Richard II in 1393. His grandson, another John lord Lovell, took the Lancastrian side in the Wars of the Roses and the castle was confiscated to the crown by Edward IV in 1461.


Old Wardour was subsequently acquired by the Arundel family in the sixteenth century. In the 1570s Sir Matthew Arundell had the castle refurbished whilst retaining much of its medieval form. During the English Civil War the castle was badly damaged during a siege. The Arundell family therefore decided not to rebuild Old Wardour Castle. In the eighteenth century New Wardour Castle was constructed, with the ruins of the old castle retained as part of a formal landscape designed by Capability Brown.

The site is now owned and managed by English Heritage.

This information came from Brian K. Davison, Old Wardour Castle (London: English Heritage, 2008)

Photographs of Old Wardour Castle were taken by Dan Spencer