Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Kenilworth Castle

The second phase of my trip around the Midlands began on Tuesday, when I drove up past Warwick to Kenilworth Castle for the first of several research expeditions. The Castle was started in 1120, added to in around 1373-80, and extensively remodelled in the 1560s and 70s by Robert Dudley in order to impress Elizabeth I. After the Civil War, large chunks of it were demolished, but the Gatehouse was lived in up until the 1930s (when the tenants made extra money by showing visitors round). Now onto the photos...

The castle is impressive, even from a distance:
Kenilworth Castle 210812 (4)

As are the stables:
Kenilworth Castle 210812 (5)

The gatehouse is more or less as it was in the 1930s, and thus very useful in my pursuit of inspirational architecture prior to my next editing pass on Searching for Julia:
Kenilworth Castle 210812 (11) Kenilworth Castle 210812 (12)

Sadly I couldn't photograph the inside, although the wood panelling gave me ideas for several rooms in the Lodge. The outside is quite close to what the designer of Kate's turrent house was aiming for, other than the type of stone used. Then, I came upon my greatest find: the Elizabethan privy garden (privy in this case meaning private):
Kenilworth Castle 210812 (17) Kenilworth Castle 210812 (18)

Kenilworth Castle 210812 (20) Kenilworth Castle 210812 (22)

Other than the size, the various obelisks, the arbours and the aviary, this is how I picture Kate's garden at the Lodge. Kate's garden is about half the size of the Kenilworth one, and slightly wider than it is long, to cut down on how much of the most southerly part is shaded by the main house. The more decorative and highly scented plants are in the beds closest to the house, and in those by the guest quarters (not to be confused with the state rooms, and the bedrooms kept for important guests in the main house) in the north-eastern corner, with a greater proportion of edible and medicinal plants in the north-westerly beds (closest to the kitchen block). Of course the majority of fruits, vegetables and herbs are grown in the larger walled gardens to the north west of the house. As with Kenilworth, there is a fountain in the centre, and some of Edward's larger, less valuable, and more weather-resistant statues from his travels are arranged rather randomly amongst the plants.

Looking at Kenilworth's privy garden from the 12th Century great tower gives a better idea of its layout:
Kenilworth Castle 210812 (37) Kenilworth Castle 210812 (45)

Having explored the castle's other buildings, I walked around the outside of the walls, and got some very different views of the castle, the gatehouse, and the town that grew up around it all:
Kenilworth Castle 210812 (73) Kenilworth Castle 210812 (74)

Kenilworth Castle 210812 (75) Kenilworth Castle 210812 (76)

Kenilworth Castle 210812 (78)

I definitely plan to visit again, and explore the town as well.

Full set of photos starts here.

[ETA:] More details about the garden here, here, here and here
Tags: for reference, inspiration, out and about, photos, real life
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