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Kenilworth Castle is one of the great historical sites of the United Kingdom. First built in the 1120s and a royal castle for most of its history, it was expanded by King John, John of Gaunt and Henry V. In 1563 Elizabeth I granted it to her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who converted the castle into a lavish palace fit to entertain his queen.
Although the castle’s fortifications were dismantled in 1650, many of the buildings remain unaltered since Elizabeth I’s reign, and the spectacular ruins reveal much of Kenilworth’s medieval and Tudor past.
Read a comprehensive overview of the history of the castle, from its Norman origins through its long connection with many English monarchs.
Find out how Henry III’s assault on Kenilworth Castle, which began on 25 June 1266, turned into one of the longest sieges in English medieval history.
Discover how Henry V escaped the burdens of kingship with the help of a secluded lodge across the mere at Kenilworth Castle.
Over the centuries, layers of myth and fiction have obscured the story of the relationship between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley. We uncover the truth behind the myth.
Little is known about the man responsible for keeping Kenilworth open to the public. Discover the story of Sir John Siddeley and his impact on the castle’s history.
Use this interactive tour to explore the castle’s Elizabethan garden, a recreation of the one built by Robert Dudley for Elizabeth I’s visit in 1575.
The spectacular ruins, built mostly from the local red sandstone, reveal much of the castle’s long history as a royal residence.
Download this PDF plan of Kenilworth Castle to see how the castle developed over the course of its 900-year history.
Kenilworth has an exceptionally long and rich history, and is remarkable not just for its buildings but for the great landscape that once surrounded it.
Read a a review of the major studies that have contributed to our growing understanding of Kenilworth Castle.
Use these lists of the main sources for our knowledge and understanding of Kenilworth Castle to research further into its history.
Delve into our history pages to discover more about our sites, how they have changed over time, and who made them what they are today.
Scale the heights of the tower built to impress Eliizabeth I, marvel at the mighty Norman keep, and explore the recreated Elizabethan garden.
This comprehensive guidebook includes a tour and history of the house, with many reconstruction drawings and historical images.
A long weekend in the West Midlands has a lot to offer. We’ve put together this guide to some of the best historic places to see in the region.