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Kenilworth Castle is in Warwickshire, in the Midlands of England. It dates from the 11th Century, and additions were made up to the 16th Century. At the time of the Civil War it was a Royalist castle, and after the Battle of Edgehill, a Royalist defeat, it was deliberately damaged, though fortunately not razed to the ground, to prevent it being used as a Royalist stronghold in the future. It fell into decay over the years, but is now managed by English Heritage. The ruins have been stabilized so that there will be no further damage, and there is public access to all areas which are safe. Wooden staircases have been built to allow safe access to higher levels where no original staircase remains.

thumb2.jpg - 22kbThe oldest part of the castle is the Keep, dating from Norman times. It was heavily altered in Tudor times, and the tower nearest the camera was the clock tower in the Tudor period. You can still see where the clock faces were fixed to the tower. On each side, right at the top, there is a large hole where the hands were attached, surrounded by a square of smaller holes used for fixing the face. They can be seen very clearly in the larger version of the picture.

thumb3.jpg - 21kbThe highest level of the Keep was the defensive level. Here you can still see the Norman arches of the original building. The arrow slits were widened into a triangle shape at the bottom, so that the archers could shoot down into the castle courtyard if it were invaded. These arches and arrow slits are viewed from the outside of the keep. The archers would have been behind them, shooting towards the camera.

thumb4.jpg - 22kbthumb5.jpg - 21kbThis photograph (left) of the upper part of the Keep shows the defensive level clearly. Lower down you can see some of the wooden stairways inserted by English Heritage to allow visitors safe access to the Keep. The ruined area in the foreground is part of what remains of the Keep's original forebuilding. This was extensively altered in Tudor times to make a new, and less warlike, entrance to the Keep (right). Visitors still use these elegant steps and arches to enter the building today.

thumb6.jpg - 21kbthumb7.jpg - 20kbThe Tudor windows in the level below the defensive level (left) are more evidence of extensive alterations when the castle was owned by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the favourite of Queen Elizabeth I. The window on the right is one of the surviving original Norman windows.

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Above is the Keep seen from the castle's outer court, and below from the Tiltyard, which today is the path from the car park to the castle. The lower picture also shows part of the curtain wall, and the ruins of Mortimer's Tower at the entrance.

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