Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Kenilworth Castle (Kenilworth)

Kenilworth Castle, in the picturesque old town of Kenilworth in Warwickshire, is a very impressive ruin. In fact, it is the largest ruined castle in England.

The enormous red sandstone castle, on a grassy hill, is inextricably bound up with three different men, who were all Earls of Leicester.

John of Gaunt, the father of Henry IV, had Kenilworth as one of his homes. Others were the Savoy in London, Tutbury Castle and Leicester Castle, where he died.

Simon de Montfort, who ruled England for a few months, held Henry III captive at Kenilworth, before he was defeated and killed at the Battle of Evesham.

And Robert Dudley famously entertained Elizabeth I at Kenilworth, a spectacular event chronicled by Sir Walter Scott in his novel “Kenilworth”.

The keep predates all these Earls, having been built in the 12th century, and the gatehouse dates from 1570. During the Civil War, the castle was slighted – rendered useless for defence.

After de Montfort’s death, his supporters were besieged by Henry III at the castle for eighteen months.

Kenilworth Castle is now in the care of English Heritage.

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