Porch Of The Gate Tower (About 1571)
Medium: Photographic print
View of the entrance porch of Leicester’s Gatehouse at Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire. Kenilworth is the largest castle ruin in England and was one of the country’s most magnificent noble residences. The gatehouse was built in the 16th century by Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester, as the new main entrance to the castle on the north side. His initials “R L” appear above the arched doorway of the porch and on either side are Tudor Rose roundels. Leicester was a favourite of Elizabeth I and the castle was given to him by the Queen in 1563. It was the setting for a celebrated royal visit in 1575, when Elizabeth was entertained with spectacular pageantry for 19 days. To make it fit for such a distinguished guest, Leicester remodelled the medieval structure of the castle into an Elizabethan palace. In addition to the gatehouse he built a formal pleasure garden, and a range of lodgings in the Inner Court known as Leicester’s Building. The porch was brought from elsewhere in the castle, probably from the latter.