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Kenilworth Castle: Ruins of Kenilworth Castle, viewed from below the Tiltyard
Kenilworth Castle is notable for the quality of its architecture, with phases of building from Norman through to Tudor times. In 1265 the medieval castle at Kenilworth was granted by Henry III to his second son, the Earl of Lancaster, and for the next three centuries it was passed back and forth between the crown and various noble families. In 1563 the castle was granted by Queen Elizabeth to her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who decided to convert the castle into a great house fit to receive occasional visits from the Queen. He retained the banqueting hall that had been built in 1392, and redesigned the Norman keep (built 1120) and constructed the magnificent guest house. Kenilworth was slighted deliberately damaged by Parliamentary forces in 1649 to prevent it being used as a military stronghold. Ruined, only two of its buildings remain habitable today. The castle became a tourist destination from the 18th century onwards, becoming famous in the Victorian period following the publishing of Sir Walter Scott's novel Kenilworth in 1826.