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Historic England Research Records

Kenilworth Castle Forebuilding

Hob Uid: 1470695
Location :
Warwickshire
Warwick
Kenilworth
Grid Ref : SP2783272296
Summary : The Forebuilding at Kenilworth Castle adjoins the Great Tower (Keep), and provided additional security and a grand entrance to the castle. There are three main periods of building evident: the two main floors were probably built by Geoffrey de Clinton in the 1120s; most of the top stage was added by King John in circa 1210-1215; Elizabethan grid windows were introduced by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in about 1570-1 to light a great room for entertaining.The entrance is a round-arched doorway, and the interior is characterised by the loggia inserted in circa 1569, which framed a small open courtyard. Originally the Forebuilding would have been an enclosed space with an entrance to the Great Tower, although the exact original layout has been obscured by later remodelling. An extension to the north was constructed in the 13th century to provide an exterior access to the outer bailey; this later became a door to the garden. On a tall oriel window jamb is the date '1570' decorated with the Earl of Leicester's badges, and probably done after construction in about 1569. The north wall was demolished in 1649-50.
More information : The development of the Forebuilding is summarised in three principal phases. The complete footprint of the 12th century Forebuilding can no longer be established, but the staged plinth extending west from the conrer of the south-west turret marks the southern extent. There is some reason to believe that the existing west wall, now largely rebuilt, may be part of a later enlargement and rebuilding of the Forebuilding. The northern limit is uncertain and may not have extended as far as the thick curving bailey wall which joins the north-west turret of the keep at an angle. Except for the scant traces, the internal divisions and arrangements of this phase have been lost. The junction between bailey wall and keep appears to have been overbuilt by a northward extension of the Forebuilding bringing the north wll into line with the north face of the keep turrets. A likely date in the second half of the 13th or early 14th century is indicated by the form of the arched opening and supporting transverse ribs. A garderobe, added in the north-west corner above the arch, formed part of the new accommodation accompanying (by inference) a chamber or guard room set over the arched entrance through the bailey wall. The last major phase can be attributed to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in c 1570. This involved inserting a round arched loggia on the ground floor and remodelling and apparently reroofing the chambers on the first floor. Some surviving masonry details at that level hint at the quality of finish and decoration then employed on the Forebuilding.(1-2)

The Forebuilding adjoins the west side of the 12th century Keep. While it is axiomatic that a forebuilding be included in the design of a tower keep of the 12th century, the earliest form and extent of this component at Kenilworth remains unclear. Later alterations and rebuilding, then slighting and general dilapidation since the 17th century, then later still antiquarian repairs, have all combined to obscure the early form. (2)

Scheduled. (3)

Listed Grade I. (4)

Registered Park and Garden, Grade II*. (5)

New guidebook. The Forebuilding at Kenilworth Castle adjoins the Great Tower (Keep), and provided additional security and a grand entrance to the castle. There are three main periods of building evident: the two main floors were probably built by Geoffrey de Clinton in the 1120s; most of the top stage was added by King John in circa 1210-1215; Elizabethan grid windows were introduced by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in about 1570-1 to light a great room for entertaining.
The entrance is a round-arched doorway, and the interior is characterised by the loggia inserted in circa 1569, which framed a small open courtyard. Originally the Forebuilding would have been an enclosed space with an entrance to the Great Tower, although the exact original layout has been obscured by later remodelling. An extension to the north was constructed in the 13th century to provide an exterior access to the outer bailey; this later became a door to the garden. On a tall oriel window jamb is the date '1570' decorated with the Earl of Leicester's badges, and probably done after construction in about 1569. The north wall was demolished in 1649-50. (6)


Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Kenilworth Castle, The Forebuilding, Building and Landscape Survey and Investigation
Source details :
Page(s) : 18
Figs. : 15
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Source Number : 2
Source : Kenilworth Castle Elizabethan Garden Project, Architectural Fabric Preliminary Assessment
Source details :
Page(s) : 52
Figs. : 20
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Source Number : 3
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details :
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Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Warwick, 10-NOV-1971
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Source Number : 5
Source : Register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in England
Source details : Warwick, 28-FEB-1986
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Source Number : 6
Source : Kenilworth Castle (English Heritage Guidebooks)
Source details :
Page(s) : 08-Oct
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Monument Types:
Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 307721
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 : SMR Number (Warwickshire)
External Cross Reference Number : 10293
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Register of Parks and Gardens Legacy No.
External Cross Reference Number : GD1472
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 27 SE 72
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 333827
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : KENILWORTH CASTLE: KEEP
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : KENILWORTH CASTLE ELIZABETHAN GARDEN
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2004-10-01
End Date : 2004-10-01