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Historic England Research Records

Kenilworth Abbey

Hob Uid: 333822
Location :
Warwickshire
Warwick
Kenilworth
Grid Ref : SP2856072370
Summary : Kenilworth Priory, an Augustinian Priory of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The priory was founded by Geoffrey de Clinton, chamberlain and treasurer to Henry I, at the same time as Kenilworth Castle in 1125, and became an abbey in 1447. The priory had the second highest income of any monastery in Warwickshire by the time of the Dissolution, after which materials from its redundant buildings were reused at the castle. Very little survives above ground; the two structures still standing are part of the gatehouse built in 1361-75, and the 'Abbey Barn'. The gatehouse is constructed of red sandstone and is believed to be of 14th century date; its proximity to the west end of the church suggests it was the gate to the inner court. 'Abbey Barn', another domestic building lying approximately 40 metres to the south, is of unknown purpose. Believed to date to the 14th century, it is a rectangular building of red sandstone, originally of two stories and measuring approximately 12 metres by 8 metres.To the east are the remains of the abbey church and cloisters. Part of the west wall of the abbey church stands to a height of 3-4 metres, as does part of the south wall of the chapter house. The footings of the western parlour and the south wall of the nave, as well as parts of the transepts and chancel of the church, are also visible. Excavations have allowed the plan to be recovered, and demonstrated that there were at least two phases of stone church building, an early Norman church and a later extended church. The plan of the abbey followed closely the standard plan of a reformed abbey, influenced by the Cistercian order. Slight earthworks indicate that much of the plan survives as buried remains. Within the Abbey Fields are earthwork and buried remains of several features including a piped water supply, the abbey water mill, fishponds, windmill, tracks and roads as well as medieval ridge and furrow cultivation remains, and the remains of the precinct boundary wall.
More information : [SP 28567237] St Mary's Abbey [GT] (Augustinian) (Remains of) (AD 1122). (1)

Kenilworth House of Augustinian Canons. Found c.1125 although Dugdale says c.1122(b.) and V.C.H. 1122. Originally a priory, it became an abbey after 1439. Dissolved 1539. (2)

Excavation report, plan, photographs. (3)

Kenilworth Abbey - scheduled. (4)


The remains of the Abbey consist mainly of turf-covered foundations, though parts stand to original height. Those portions which do not fall in the modern churchyard are railed off from the adjoining recreation ground, where a large part of the Abbey ruins lie buried beneath the turf. (5)

All foundations east of the path which bisects the site have been levelled and grassed over. One fragment of walling remains - see photograph; also of gatehouse. (6)

1270 Abbey Ruins, Abbey Fields
SP 2872 SW 5/3 1.6.49.
SP 2872 SE 6/3

Founded circa 1122 for Augustinians. Ruinous C14 sandstone gatehouse, early English and decorated with detached porters lodge, of 2 storeys, the gabled attic filled in with later timber-frame and brick; 2 trefoil-headed 2-light mullions. Good circular dial incised on south wall. Excavated foundations of church, apsidal chapter-house, etc, are meagre. Scheduled AM. (7)

Listed. (8)

Excavations 200m to the south of the main abbey buildings located the remains of 3 stone buildings contemporary with the abbey. They are on the opposite bank of the Finham Brook and probably represent agricultural buildings, possibly a grange. (9)

Further information is available in the Kenilworth Castle guidebook. (10)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1923-38.
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Source Number : 2
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 141
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society transactions
Source details :
Page(s) : 75-92
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 104, 2000
Source Number : 10
Source : Kenilworth Castle (English Heritage Guidebooks)
Source details :
Page(s) : 38
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2a
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Eng. Hist. Rev. xxxiv 111-12 (Farrer)
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Source Number : 2b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Monasticon Anglicanum (1846) (W. Dugdale)
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Source Number : 3
Source : Birmingham and Midland Institute, Birmingham Archaeological Society transactions, excursions and reports
Source details : E. Carey-Hill
Page(s) : 184-227
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 52, 1927
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : A.M. England & Wales, 1958, p.74
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 JR 24-APR-61
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Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F2 BHS 05-MAR-68
Page(s) :
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Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE(HHR) U.D. of Kenilworth, Warw, Nov 1971, 1.
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Source Number : 8
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 161
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Norman origins
Monument End Date : 1170
Monument Start Date : 1125
Monument Type : Church, Priory, Slype, Chapter House
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant
Monument End Date : 1447
Monument Start Date : 1125
Monument Type : Augustinian Monastery, Priory
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered
Monument End Date : 1280
Monument Start Date : 1170
Monument Type : Cloister, Refectory, Dormitory, Infirmary, Chapel
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 1200-1539
Monument End Date : 1539
Monument Start Date : 1200
Monument Type : Agricultural Building
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered
Monument End Date : 1350
Monument Start Date : 1280
Monument Type : Church, Priory, Gatehouse, Guest House, Bell Tower
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered
Monument End Date : 1530
Monument Start Date : 1350
Monument Type : Undercroft, Privy House, Dormitory
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extant
Monument End Date : 1539
Monument Start Date : 1447
Monument Type : Augustinian Monastery, Abbey
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : WA 10
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 307722
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SP 27 SE 1
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 323293
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 307754
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 333946
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 333827
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 77647
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 333828
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1578359
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 333848
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1389782
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : ST MARY'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1890-01-01
End Date : 1890-12-31
Associated Activities : ST MARY'S ABBEY
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1922-01-01
End Date : 1923-12-31
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 27 SE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1961-04-24
End Date : 1961-04-24
Associated Activities : FIELD OBSERVATION ON SP 27 SE 1
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-03-05
End Date : 1968-03-05
Associated Activities : ABBEY OF ST MARY THE VIRGIN
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1989-01-01
End Date : 1989-12-31
Associated Activities : KENILWORTH ABBEY BARN
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : KENILWORTH ABBEY BARN
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : TENNIS COURTS, KENILWORTH ABBEY
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : ABBEY FIELD, KENILWORTH
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : ABBEY MILL, KENILWORTH
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1997-01-01
End Date : 1997-12-31
Associated Activities : ABBEY FIELDS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : CASTLE HILL, ABBEY FIELDS
Activity type : GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : ST NICHOLAS'S CHURCH, KENILWORTH
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : ABBEY FIELDS PLAY AREA
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : ABBEY BARN, ABBEY FIELDS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2002-12-31
Associated Activities : ABBEY FIELDS FLOOD ALLEVIATION SCHEME
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT 25 HIGH STREET
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : KENILWORTH ABBEY BARN
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2005-01-01
End Date : 2005-12-31
Associated Activities : KENILWORTH ABBEY GATEHOUSE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2008-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT ABBEY FIELDS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2009-01-01
End Date : 2009-12-31
Associated Activities : LAND AT ABBEY FIELDS
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31