The town of Kenilworth is found between Warwick and Coventry in central Warwickshire.
Much the most famous attraction here is Kenilworth Castle, around which the town originally developed, but the town contains some other highlights worthy of note in the original 'old town' area.
These include the Abbey Fields area with the Church of Saint Nicholas and the ruins of the Abbey of Saint Mary (the ancient storage barn is the most intact part of the Abbey, which fell to ruin after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century). See also the 'Kenilworth clock' (1906) on Warwick Road, and the historical heart of the centre along the road called High Street which includes a good number of interesting period properties.
Some interesting and picturesque historical cottages can also be seen at 'Little Virginia' next to the castle. Little Virginia is also said to be the place that sir Walter raleigh planted the first potato in England!
Although substantially in ruins, the castle at Kenilworth is one of the finest and most evocative castles to be found in England, and for several centuries played an important role in the country's politics and conflicts.
Developed and expanded in several stages and in different eras, the original Norman castle was much expanded in the 13th century, then converted into a more 'comfortable for living in' castle in the 14th century. Further enhancements made during the Tudor period made the castle into a very fine stately home. The castle's downfall came in 1649 during the Civil War, when it was severely damaged to prevent its use for military purposes - hence the ruins that we see today.
The substantial remains now provide an interesting glimpse into some of the most important events in English history - and a great visual spectacle. Kenilworth Castle is now managed by English Heritage and one of the highlights of a visit to Warwickshire.
Visit close to Kenilworth
Also nearby are Stoneleigh Abbey and the surrounding Stoneleigh Park - although the name 'abbey' refers to the building that stood originally on the site - the current mansion house was built on the site of a former abbey, mostly in the early 18th century.
Other stately homes in the vicinity of Kenilworth include Wroxall Abbey (a victorian mansion built on the site of an earlier monastery) and the charming 15th century manor House at Baddesley Clinton, now owned by the National Trust.
Map of Kenilworth and places to visit
Kenilworth places to visit
See more places nearby in the Warwickshire guide