Pictures of Kenilworth
Kenilworth is a pleasant town located in the spacious Warwickshire countryside, it is a town with an 'air of gentility' that tells you that this is a prosperous place with a long, illustrious history. A short distance away but close enough for it's fields to border the fascinating old parts of Kenilworth, is Stoneleigh Abbey, home of the Royal Agricultural Show which attracts visitors from all over Europe. The magnificent Italianate mansion dates 1726. It was built round the remains of an abbey and has an Elizabethan wing. The 14th-century gate-house to the monastry survives intact and the house shows superb furniture and is a treasure trove of fine paintings.
The true glory of Kenilworth lies in the magnificent and atmospheric ruins of Kenilworth Castle where romantically, Elizabeth I was entertained by her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. The Queen is said to have stayed for 18 days. It was a time of great rejoicing, merriment and pleasure. The castle was founded by Geoffrey de Clinton in the 12th-century. It was originally built as a fortress, and it was in the 14th-century that John of Gaunt turned it into the magnificent castle by adding elaborate domestic quarters. Robert Dudley added more living quarters and the northern gate-house. Much of John of Gaunt's banqueting hall still survives, together with other domestic quarters. The castle Keep was partially destroyed during the turmoil of the Civil War, and sadley, the castle was never to be re-occupied again. To wander the castle ruins is to walk hand in hand with history, it is an atmospheric place, never more so that when a fading sun casts long shadows all around, it is a if you can feel the grandeur of the past rising up before you with the tinkling sound of music and a young Queen being courted by her favourite.
A wander in the town reveals several buildings of note from both the Georgian and Victorian periods. It is a spacious town that has some delightful shops, restaurants and welcoming inns. The open countryside surrounding the town is very pastoral, old meadows are grazed by cattle and sheep and here and there you will find beautiful old timber frame cottages and gracious red brick farmhouses. This is an area where every village reveals fresh delights, the whole region is steeped in history and is a joy to explore.
Nearby attractions include 2 National Trust properties - Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House.
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