Click here to skip to content

Kenilworth Castle; General View

Kenilworth Castle; General View

Photographer: Thompson, Stephen

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1864

Shelfmark: C.44.d.7,8

Item number: Frontispiece

Genre: Photograph

Related images

1 2 3

Kenilworth Castle is the largest castle ruin in England. It was the prison of Edward II, where he was held captive by Henry, Earl of Lancaster, and deposed in 1327, and later the possession and pleasure ground of the Earl of Leicester, the favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. An extravagant entertainment was held in her honour during a seventeen-day visit to the castle in 1575. It was this visit which was celebrated by Sir Walter Scott in his romance ‘Kenilworth’. William Howitt writes:

“Kenilworth was a great and magnificent castle, inhabited by princes royal, and the powerful favourites of princes: sieges stout from time to time girt its walls, and gorgeous pageants enlivened its halls and courts and gardens...[It] claims a high antiquity. There was a castle here, indeed, according to Dugdale, in the Saxon times, which stood on a hill called Hom, or Holme, Hill, which was battered down in the war betwixt King Edmund and Canute the Dane. This castle was situated on the bank of the Avon, in the woods opposite to Stoneleigh Park. There does not appear to have been any rebuilding of a castle on the estate so long as it remained in the hands of the crown. At the time of the Norman survey, Kenilworth was found in possession of two vassals of the king...In Henry I.’s reign he granted the manor to Geoffrey de Clinton, who built a castle on the present site, as well as a monastery near it.”

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites


Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: