Kenilworth Castle might lie mostly in ruins, but this doesn't detract from its romantic and majestic nature. Much like other top castles in England such as the Tower of London and Windsor, Kenilworth's appeal stands the test of time The main attraction in the English town of Kenilworth, this ruined castle was originally built by Geoffrey de Clinton in about 1120. Visitors can find evidence of this early history in the surviving Caesar's Tower. Also recognizable are the renovations that were made over the centuries. All of these renovations were made before the structure was partially destroyed by Parliamentary forces in the mid-1600s, and the eventual destruction only seems to have lent to the castle's popularity as a tourist destination. Tourists actually started visiting the ruined site in the 1700s, and it remains very popular to this day.
Kenilworth Castle history spans nearly 900 years. The early years saw this English castle serving primarily as a fortress, and it was the site of a famous siege by Henry III's forces in 1266. In the late 1300s, the Duke of Lancaster began converting the fortress into a palace, and he rebuilt the staterooms and the impressive Great Hall. Thanks to the Duke of Lancaster's renovations, Tudor kings started to favor the castle as a residence, and it remained a royal possession until John Dudley assumed ownership in 1553. Dudley passed the residence on to his son Robert in 1563, and this began the castle's most famous historical period.
Robert Dudley spent a considerable amount of money on Kenilworth Castle in hopes of tempting Queen Elizabeth I to visit during her tours around the country. He also hoped that the Queen would marry him. Her Majesty's first arrival came in 1566, and she continued to visit Dudley and his lavish palace throughout the 1560s and 70s. Her last visit was in 1575, and it was quite an event. Dudley went all out in hopes of convincing Queen Elizabeth I to marry him, but it came to no avail. The event was a big success either way, and it helped to set the stage for Sir Walter Scott's novel Kenilworth. This novel was first published in 1821, and it brought much fame to Kenilworth Castle during the Victorian era.
No visit to Kenilworth Castle would be complete without taking a tour of the garden. In his attempt to impress Queen Elizabeth I, Robert Dudley added an ornate garden to his castle landscape. Though this garden was lost for hundreds of years, it has been recreated using various techniques. Advances in archaeology as it relates to gardens have helped make the project possible. The garden re-creation team also relied on a description of the garden that dated back to 1575. A gem of an Elizabethan garden, the garden at Kenilworth Castle features an amazing marble fountain to go with its colorful plants, its beautiful aviary, and its other enticing attractions. In fact, it's a verifiable attraction in its own rite.
Kenilworth Castle is one of the top tourist attractions in England's West Midlands region. Visitors are welcome every day of the year, save for December 24 and 25 and January 1, and the general hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The closing time varies a little according to the season. The admission price at Kenilworth Castle includes an audio tour, and you will definitely want to make time for the exhibition that covers the relationship that Queen Elizabeth I had with the castle's former owner. Special events are held at the castle from time to time, so you might keep that in mind when planning your visit. These events often cater to kids and involve things such as treasure hunts and dressing up in royal attire.