A bright and early start to the day brought plenty of yawns to the quads of Corpus Christi and Pembroke. Yet, the tired faces soon melted away as they journeyed on the roads to ancient Warwick Castle and the idyllic village of Burford, immersed in the glamour and splendour of the Cotswolds.
The day began with Warwick Castle, constructed by William the Conqueror in 1068 following his famous victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. During its 1000(ish) years of existence, the castle has been witness to many events, eerily similar to Game of Thrones. The 13th Century saw the castle switch hands during the Second Barons’ War, with the forces of Simon de Montfort successfully capturing the town by surprise. In 1469, Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, rebelled against King Edward IV and imprisoned him within the castle. Having failed to rule in the King’s name, Neville was defeated in the Wars of the Roses. The castle was also a focal point of the English Civil War – Robert Greville, a Parliamentarian, survived a Royalist siege. Then following the Battle of Edgehill in 1642, prisoners were kept in Caesar’s and Guy’s Towers.
Moving on through countryside, the students visited Burford, a quintessential English village, which lies only a handful of miles away from the home of David Cameron, the former Prime Minister and Oxford Graduate in PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics). Often referred to as the ‘gateway’ to the Cotswolds, Burford offers the traditional assortment of quaint shops, B&Bs (Bed and Breakfast) and a historic church. Legend has it that in 752, there was a battle at Burford between the West Saxons and the Mercians. At the end, Aethelhum, the Mercian standard-bearer, who carried the flag with the golden dragon on it, was killed by the lance of his Saxon rival. The origin of the golden dragon standard is attributed to that of Uther Pendragon, the father of the legendary King Arthur. Whilst the students saw neither battle nor dragon, they were able to tour the town and countryside.
All in all, it was a fantastic day out with students and admin alike enjoying the sunshine and country air.