Saturday, October 24, 2009


Site of the "Mere"--from King John's time, Kenilworth had a
great lake or mere, a hundred acres or more, created by a
huge earthen dam

On the earthen dam, used for jousting
tournaments from King John's time

View of interor buildings

The Gatehouse, itself a mansion

Dudley's crest, Robert (of) Leicester, now in a beautiful
hearth in the gatehouse

Original great hall


The Hall Dudley built for Elizabeth

Monday morning we drove out to Kenilworth Castle. It is a ruin now, "slighted" after the Civil War, but an impressive ruin, and, outside London, few sites in the UK have more history and lore associated with them. Mortimer, Gaunt, King John, the Edwards, the later Henrys, and most importantly Elizabeth, all had dealings with Kenilworth. At its heigtht, in Elizabethan times, it was one of England's three or four great palaces, which the Queen gave to her favorite, Robert Dudley, whom she made Earl of Leicester. She visited Kenilworth three times, the last for nearly a month, Dudley's final attempt to persuade her to marry him. The rest is history. And literature, as in, e.g., Sir Walter Scott's Kenilworth.

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