Sunday 10 April 2022

Another Kenilworth walk

A few weeks ago, we discovered another walk in Kenilworth and last week we decided to try it out. We started from the castle

and took this path which is on the right of the castle.

There is a stud farm near here so there are a lot of horses, each grazing in their own small field

past the gates to this large house

and we took this path

under a canopy of overhanging branches

I love it here

and can't help but post loads of pictures of it.

The path came to a sudden end, an open, wide grassland in front of us. This is apparently the remains of The Pleasance, which was constructed by King Henry V around 1414. It was a moated pleasure garden, which would have been reached by boat from Kenilworth Castle, across the Mere, which used to occupy this shallow valley.

Its name is derived from 'le plesans en marais' - the pleasance in the marsh. It may have been under construction when Henry fought his successful battle against the French at Agincourt. 

The illustration shows how it might have looked in the mid-15th century, when the area within the moat was surrounded by a stone wall.

It had a timber banqueting hall, chapel and stone place of entertainment, often in preference to the state apartments at Kenilworth cast. The moat suggests that it was built with defence in mind, and access by water would have made it more secure.

The Pleasance was dismantled by Henry VIII in the 16th century, and the buildings re-erected within the castle. The Mere was drained in 1649. The remains of The Pleasance survive as a rare and untypical example of a medieval moated garden, and archaeological excavation suggests that the island remains structural evidence and deposits relating to its use by the highest orders of medieval society.

We turned left and continued walking

Through the gate,

and we continued on our way

after a while, we could see Kenilworth castle on our left

in the distance, we could also see the house whose gates we passed at the beginning of our walk

and then, as we were nearing the end of our circular walk, we arrived at the entrance hut of the castle.

We turned left to the path that circles the back of the castle

A thatched cottage in the distance.

Having arrived to the exact spot that we had started from, we crossed the road and entered Abbey Fields

The stream on our left

 and the pond on our left

We stopped to have a look at the water birds that assemble by the end of the pond and then walked to the car and then, home.

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