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The Lobby, From The North-West (About 1400)

The Lobby, From The North-West (About 1400)

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1872

Shelfmark: 7817.s.2

Item number: 28

Length: 15

Width: 20

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

View of a 14th-century ivy-clad entrance porch at Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire. Dating from the 12th century, Kenilworth is the largest castle ruin in England and was one of the country’s most magnificent noble residences. From 1361 until 1399 it was held by John of Gaunt, the fourth son of King Edward III. He transformed the fortified Norman structure of the castle into a palatial medieval home by erecting a complex of grand buildings including a Great Hall. This view shows the imposing façade of an octagonal porch which projected into the inner courtyard of the castle and led to another hall known as the Lesser Chamber. Fragments of ornamental stone tracery remain in the tall and elegant pointed windows.

In his guide to the history and architecture of the castle, Reverend Knowles observed: “In John of Gaunt’s time, no doubt a suite of rooms ran eastward as far as the grand Tower and Lobby, which are even now conspicuous ornaments of the Castle. Whether these had become ruinous by Leicester’s time we do not know; at any rate he altered the floor-levels and built largely here, raising the wall, forming a room 58 by 25 feet of singular shape, with two bay windows; and it was called the White Hall.”

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