What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
=How to get there.=–Train from Euston. L. and N.W. Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Kenilworth. =Distance from London.=–99 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 2-1/2 to 4 hours.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 15s. 3d. 10s. 2d. 8s. 1-1/2d. Return 28s. 3d. 17s. 10d. 16s. 3d.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Abbey Hotel,” “King’s Arms," “Castle Hotel,” etc. =Alternative Route.=–None.
Kenilworth is a small town, situated midway between Coventry and Warwick, about 5 miles from either town. It is chiefly noted for the ruins of the famous castle, so celebrated from its association with Sir Walter Scott’s romance. The castle was built in the reign of Henry I., the site having been granted to Geoffrey de Clinton, Lord Chief Justice of England. The fortress at one time belonged to Simon de Montfort, who imprisoned Henry III. and his son Edward during the War of the Barons. Edward II. also was forced to sign his abdication there. Queen Elizabeth gave the castle as a present to her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who spent large sums in making great alterations and additions, and entertained the Queen on four different occasions. The memorable visit that has been described by Scott took place in 1575, when Dudley not only lodged Queen Elizabeth, her court, and 400 servants for seventeen days, but provided a series of pageants and festivities to please his royal mistress. During the Civil War the castle was taken by Cromwell and given by him to Colonel Hawkesworth and some other officers belonging to his army. They destroyed the place very much, draining the lake, besides pulling down walls and towers. The estate now belongs to the Earl of Clarendon, to whose ancestor, Lawrence Hyde, Earl of Rochester, it was given by Charles II. The only building which has still preserved its roof is the gatehouse, built by Robert Dudley. It is now used as a dwelling-house, and contains some beautiful panelling and also a wonderful chimney-piece. The rest of the castle is very ruined, but the remains are of great interest, being sufficient to convey an impression of the castle as it originally stood. Close to the parish church are the ruins of the priory, which was founded at the same time as the castle, by Geoffrey de Clinton. At the Dissolution it was completely destroyed, and only the gatehouse remains.
[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. KENILWORTH CASTLE.
Where Queen Elizabeth was entertained for seventeen days by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.]