Click on thumbnail for larger image. Scroll down for more images and the history of this building.
Astley Castle near Nuneaton
is a very important historic building dating back to the 1200s. The
land came into possession of Phillip de Astley in the thirteenth century and he
built the castle.
The interior of the castle was destroyed by fire on 3 April 1978 in mysterious circumstances. You can read an account of the fire by clicking here. The building was derelict for many years following the fire and was little more than a shell with walls in a very parlous state, with virtually all of the interior destroyed or in irreparable condition as a result of the fire, subsequent vandalism, and decay. In 1998 English Heritage and Heritage Lottery Fund offered grants for a scheme of consolidation and partial conversion to holiday accommodation with the Landmark Trust, but the scheme fell through because of cost. The Trust expressed renewed interest in a curtailed scheme in 2005, but nothing came forward until the detailed proposals that you can access at the links below.
Click here for a 2006 Report by Nuneaton & Warwickshire Council regarding Buildings at Risk in the County, which acknowledged that the Castle was a Priority Category A building (at extreme risk) and that "Realistically it seems that the remnants of the castle will effectively have to be managed as a ruin". Although the Stable block was identified as being "capable of conversion to a beneficial use...[despite] suffering from slow decay, and,... vandalism and arson".
IN JUNE 2008 Astley Castle came one step closer to being saved following the news (that the Heritage Lottery Fund had given a pledge of support for a grant of £1.47million to the Landmark Trust^ - read more here †. You can read earlier local newspaper reports on the efforts to save Astley Castle here (08/04/08), here (24/04/08), here (27/06/08), here (14/08/08) and here †.
IN JULY 2009 Pete Simpson, a long time local
campaigner to save Astley Castle, died aged just 63.
Pete Simpson fought for
years to preserve Astley Castle which is being revamped by a £1.47m Heritage
You can read a local newspaper report on his
BY MARCH 2010 The Landmark Trust^ announced that its fundraising appeal to save Astley Castle had raised £2.5 million.
IN JULY 2012 Astley Castle's restoration was complete and the first guests arrived for their holidays. You can read a local press article here.
A copy of the Landmark Trust's previous webpage on Astley Castle, with some fascinating historical detail, can be accessed here. The Landmark Trust's current website on the Castle can be accessed here.
Photos marked * are © Warwickshire County Council, 2003
** Photograph taken by Les Fannon, Nuneaton Evening Tribune photographer
*** Photographs courtesy of The Landmark Trust
^ The Landmark Trust is a building preservation charity, founded in 1965 by the late Sir John Smith and Lady Smith. It was established to rescue historic and architecturally interesting buildings and their surroundings from neglect and, when restored, to give them new life by letting them as places to experience for holidays.
† You will need to have Adobe Acrobat software installed on your computer in order to download and read these files. If you do not have this you can download the software for free by clicking the image below (you must be connected to the Internet to access this site and download the software). When you have downloaded the software you can return to this page by clicking the 'back' button on your browser.