COPY 1/209 f360 postcard of Kenilworth castle

Look at document COPY 1/209 f360. It is a picture of the ruined castle of Kenilworth in Warwickshire. Today, visitors take photographs and wander around the site imagining what it might have been like to live there. Part of the castle was built in Norman times and part of the castle was built during Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

  • Norman castles included small windows for firing arrows out from. Can you find the Norman part of the castle?
  • Tudor castles included large windows as a sign of high status; glass was expensive. Can you find the Tudor part of the castle?

In 1563 Queen Elizabeth gave the Norman castle of Kenilworth to her favourite male friend, Robert Dudley. Dudley decided to transform the Norman castle and build a whole new castle next to the old one for when Queen Elizabeth came to visit!

Imagine having to build a whole new section of your house when visitors come to stay!

Although she visited several times, the most famous holiday Elizabeth spent at Kenilworth was in 1575. The Queen spent a total of 19 days there – she must have enjoyed her stay! No expense was spared and Elizabeth was treated to firework displays, hunting, dancing and her own specially built pleasure gardens and apartments. The Queen’s holiday left her host Robert Dudley almost bankrupt!