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Castles Courses

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Q1. 'The evidence available for Kenilworth castle proves that its main function in the middle ages was defence.' Kenilworth castle has many features that could prove that defence was important. On my visit I saw a 12 metre high Keep. This was used for defence because it had high walls which were also 3 - 4 metres thick. At the foot of the Keep the walls were splayed to make it difficult for attackers to climb. The splayed walls were designed and used for defence because the angle made it difficult for attackers to climb up so it gave defenders more time to shoot arrows. There was no entrance to the lower floor as it would have been too easy for attackers. I do not know this for a fact but it would make a lot of sense to the defenders as they will be trying to make it as difficult as possible for the attackers to attack. On the visit I also saw fishtail arrowslits. These were on the upper floor of the keep as it would lower the chance of the attackers to shoot through them. ...read more.


A further feature was Leicester's Gatehouse. This showed status because the walls were decorated with the Earl of Leicester's initials and emblems. This was built because the old entrance was not wide enough for horses and carriages. Originally it was just an archway but a century later the new owner filled in the arches to add floors and new rooms to make the castle more spacious and comfortable instead of all being crowded in one place. It also showed status because of the style of the building. It was tall and unique and looks very expensive. It is hard to describe but the building shows that the more money you have the higher and wider the buildings you could build. It looks extremely grand but no access is permitted due to the stability of the building being poor. Source two gives me information that I could not see on my visit because it tells me who and when the buildings were built and/or renovated. This is helpful because it tells me that the duke of Lancaster was the first person to decorate the castle to look like a palace by adding decorated buildings. ...read more.


Promotional material shows that the castle holds many special events such as 'a medieval living village'. This includes music by Nominus and a display of falconry. In the leaflets it shows a detailed map of all the other English Heritage sites. The leaflets also give a good description of the castles background and an appetiser into its history. The guide book tells you about its surroundings and the 'three walks'. It gives you detailed directions and a clearly labelled map. On the internet, the English heritage site tells you about upcoming events and prices. It also tells you about disabled access and cycle routes around the castle. The website also contains a game for children. Overall, I think that the English heritage haven't hidden the real Kenilworth behind a fairytale representation because unlike Warwick castle they leave the rooms as they are and give information on the rooms so that the visitors can use their imagination of the layout of the castle and its surroundings. Personally, I feel that leaving the rooms to the tourist's imagination is better because that way they feel more involved everyone has a different opinion of each room and it allows school children to get closer to the way they used to live through their imaginations. ...read more.

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