‘A Walk Around Warwick’ is a feature-length documentary about the history and architecture of Warwick, recently released by Leamington Spa-based Leofric Films.
The film guides the viewer around the streets of the town with local historian Dr Sylvia Pinches, telling the stories behind many of the town’s most charming buildings and revealing historical secrets along the way – such as the true meaning of the word ‘eavesdropping’, the reason why postboxes are red and how graffiti can be of use to historians.
‘The history of Warwick is fascinating,’ says Dr Pinches, ‘and it’s not just about the castle. There’s a thousand years of architecture and history, even though the town was burnt down in 1694 – in fact, that makes it even more interesting because you have so much rebuilding afterwards, right next to buildings that survive from centuries before.’
The Lord Leycester Hospital, which has functioned as a home for retired soldiers since 1571, is one of the featured buildings. The Brothers who live there acted as guides for the film, telling tales of the past such as about the time that King James I came to Warwick for a feast so magnificent that it left the town in debt for ten years. At St Mary’s Collegiate Church a guide enthuses about the Beauchamp Chapel, which contains the tomb of the 15th-century Earl of Warwick who presided over the trial of Joan of Arc. As well as major tourist sights, the film includes details of lesser known buildings and hidden nooks. There is a charming sequence filmed at the Mill Garden, tucked beneath the walls of the castle and enjoying arguably the best view in Warwick of that magnificent edifice.
The DVD is available to buy from www.awalkaroundwarwick.co.uk and various local shops.