THE town of Alcester is to host a new cultural festival to celebrate the life of one of its forefathers.

The Fulke Greville Festival will celebrate the life and achievements of one of its most famous, yet largely forgotten, sons, Sir Fulke Greville.

Sir Fulke, who died 390 years ago this year, was Lord of the Manor of Alcester during the late 16th and early 17th centuries and owner of Warwick Castle.

He was a talented poet, dramatist and statesman, whose various roles at court of Elizabeth I and James I included Treasurer of the Navy and Chancellor of the Exchequer.

A contemporary of William Shakespeare, Greville is also regarded as a generous patron of many of the leading writers of the day.

To mark the occasion, a festival of talks, lectures and tours have been organised which will include presentations by leading researchers on his poetry and plays, many of which have been compared in quality to Shakespeare’s own celebrated sonnets.

The programme will include visits to the site of his former residence Beauchamp Court, Alcester, Warwick Castle and his ghostly tomb in the Chapter House of St Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick.

Amongst his good deeds for the townsfolk of Alcester was giving three hundred pounds of his own money to build a market hall.

Alcester Town Hall, as it is now known, celebrates its 400th anniversary in 2018, and will be the main festival venue.

Sir Fulke was also granted ownership of Warwick Castle in 1604 and went on to transform the castle from a ruin into the lavish residence we are familiar with today.

Tragically, his life came to an end at the age of seventy four, after being murdered by a greedy manservant in his home in London.

Adam Busiakiewicz, an art historian and festival co-organiser, said: “Not many people in Alcester know that such a fascinating figure in British history was born on their doorstep.

"Fulke Greville was a true Renaissance man, and was a poet, soldier, jouster, courtier and politician.

"We look forward to celebrating the life of this extraordinary individual and welcoming all who wish to learn more about this fascinating man and the intriguing times he lived in.”

For more on the festival, which runs from September 28 to 30, go to