Castle Finder

Kenilworth Castle

Brief History of Kenilworth Castle

  • 1124: built by Geoffrey de Clinton (Henry I's treasurer); crown property in 1174
  • 1210: King John spends £1,100 on Kenilworth, expands mere (artificial lake)
  • 1244: granted to Simon de Montfort; killed at Evesham 1265; his men besieged in 1266
  • 1279: Edward I visits for Arthurian 'round table' festival of tournaments and literature
  • 1326: Henry of Lancaster brings Edward II to Kenilworth, where he abdicates
  • 1361: John of Gaunt acquires Kenilworth, through his wife, Blanche of Lancaster
  • 1389-93: Extensive improvements for John of Gaunt by Robert Skillington
  • 1563: Robert Dudley gains and remodels castle for Elizabeth I (who visits 4 times)
  • 1642: Royal garrison withdrawn; slighted in 1649, but dwelling house spared
  • 1937: Purchased for nation by Sir John Siddeley after expensive restoration work

Visitor Information Summary

  • Run by English Heritage, so check for events before going
  • Guided tours twice a week
  • Audio tours available
  • Pet dogs allowed on lead
  • Sat Nav: CV8 1NE