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Historic England Research Records

Kenilworth Castle Inner Court And Keep

Hob Uid: 1106407
Location :
Warwickshire
Warwick
Kenilworth
Grid Ref : SP2782872269
Summary : The inner court of Kenilworth Castle is located on a bluff of higher ground, and the buildings today enclose the court on three sides. These include the great tower (keep) built by Geoffrey de Clinton in the 1120s; the great hall built by John of Gaunt circa 1373-80; and Leicester's Building erected in 1571 by Robert Dudley for Elizabeth I's visit.This area was the site of the bailey of the original castle at Kenilworth. Excavations to the north of the keep have recovered evidence to indicate that the inner court was surrounded by a ditch from at least the late 12th century. Access into the inner court is via a causeway across the eastern section of this ditch and a portcullis groove and part of an archway visible at the south eastern corner of the keep represent the remains of this fortified gate. From the 12th century onwards the inner court was surrounded by a curtain wall, parts of which still stand incorporated within later buildings. A short section of the wall's foundation is visible on the south eastern side on the inner court. The sandstone keep occupies the north eastern side on the inner court and is a massive rectangular building with large square corner turrets. Access to the keep is via a forebuilding which was built against the keep's western side. In 1570 the forebuilding was altered by Robert Dudley into a loggia. Under John of Gaunt the existing structures within the inner court were either remodelled or rebuilt. A new suite of state apartments were erected along the south and west sides of the inner court with kitchens to the north, an arrangement which is typical of the later medieval period, but which may suggest that they occupy the site of earlier building ranges. The remains of the kitchens date mostly from the 1380s and stand to the east of the keep. They have been built against the curtain wall, and three contemporary fireplaces are visible within their northern wall, whilst those at the eastern end are 15th century insertions.
More information : Scheduled. (1)

Listed. (2)

The inner court of Kenilworth Castle is located on a bluff of higher ground, and the buildings today enclose the court on three sides. These include the great tower (keep) built by Geoffrey de Clinton in the 1120s; the great hall built by John of Gaunt circa 1373-80; and Leicester's Building erected in 1571 by Robert Dudley for Elizabeth I's visit.
This area was the site of the bailey of the original castle at Kenilworth. Excavations to the north of the keep have recovered evidence to indicate that the inner court was surrounded by a ditch from at least the late 12th century. Access into the inner court is via a causeway across the eastern section of this ditch and a portcullis groove and part of an archway visible at the south eastern corner of the keep represent the remains of this fortified gate. From the 12th century onwards the inner court was surrounded by a curtain wall, parts of which still stand incorporated within later buildings. A short section of the wall's foundation is visible on the south eastern side on the inner court.
The sandstone keep occupies the north eastern side on the inner court and is a massive rectangular building with large square corner turrets. Access to the keep is via a forebuilding which was built against the keep's western side. In 1570 the forebuilding was altered by Robert Dudley into a loggia. Under John of Gaunt the existing structures within the inner court were either remodelled or rebuilt. A new suite of state apartments were erected along the south and west sides of the inner court with kitchens to the north, an arrangement which is typical of the later medieval period, but which may suggest that they occupy the site of earlier building ranges. The remains of the kitchens date mostly from the 1380s and stand to the east of the keep. They have been built against the curtain wall, and three contemporary fireplaces are visible within their northern wall, whilst those at the eastern end are 15th century insertions. (3)

Registered park and garden. (4)

New revised guidebook. (5)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 04-Jan-96
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Warwick, 10-NOV-1971
Page(s) : 1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 586
Source Number : 3
Source : Kenilworth Castle [guide]
Source details :
Page(s) : 05-Jun
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Warwickshire
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Part 42
Source Number : 5
Source : Kenilworth Castle (English Heritage Guidebooks)
Source details :
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Early 12th century
Monument End Date : 1132
Monument Start Date : 1100
Monument Type : Bailey
Evidence : Uncertain Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Great tower built
Monument End Date : 1540
Monument Start Date : 1120
Monument Type : Keep
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : End of the 12th century
Monument End Date : 1200
Monument Start Date : 1167
Monument Type : Keep, Gate, Building, Curtain Wall
Evidence : Ruined Building, Structure, Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1380s additions
Monument End Date : 1389
Monument Start Date : 1380
Monument Type : Kitchen, Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1361 to 1394
Monument End Date : 1394
Monument Start Date : 1389
Monument Type : Castle, Royal Palace
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Windows altered 16th century
Monument End Date : 1600
Monument Start Date : 1501
Monument Type : Keep
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : 1570
Monument End Date : 1570
Monument Start Date : 1570
Monument Type : Loggia
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WA 1
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 21576
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 307721
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Warwickshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 10293
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 27 SE 43
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1470695
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : KITCHEN AREA, KENILWORTH CASTLE
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1938-01-01
End Date : 1938-12-31
Associated Activities : KENILWORTH CASTLE: KEEP
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31