Kenilworth Castle is a Norman castle located in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. It is a Grade I listed building, in the care of English Heritage, open to the public.
The castle was founded in 1120 by Geoffrey de Clinton, it was originally a motte and bailey castle but the motte was soon converted into stone, now known as the great tower. It was then enlarged in the 1200's by King John, he also created a moat which incorporated large lakes at vulnerable points. These were tested in 1266 when the castle was attacked and laid siege for six months during the War of the Roses.
Late in the 14th century, John of Gaunt changed the mediaeval castle into a palace fortress in the perpendicular style. The castle was expanded again in the mid 1500's by the Earl of Leicester, constructing new Tudor style buildings which held a lavish reception for Queen Elizabeth I.
During the civil war in 1649, Parliamentary forces slighted the castle so it could not be used by the Royalists.
In the 1800's the castle became a tourist destination, visitors would carve their names in the stone. In 1826 Sir Walter Scott made the castle famous because of his novel, Kenilworth.