Kenilworth Castle Triumphal Arch

Kenilworth Castle Triumphal Arch

Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, extensively renovated Kenilworth Castle around 1571, extending John of Gaunt's palatial 14th century additions in a mix of medieval, gothic, and some confident Elizabethan classicism including this sandstone triumphal arch entrance.

Leicester adopted the heraldic devices of a bear and ragged staff, derived from the Beauchamp Earls of Warwick. Extensive use of the staff is evident in many of his additions. Here it flanks the triglyphs and his initials either side of the arch are stylized to match. Fluted doric pilasters and shallow niches flank the arched entrance. The carved detail is very fine but the soft sandstone has been significantly eroded.

It originally stood in the main range but after the slighting of the castle ordered by Parliament following the Civil War it was reconstructed as an entrance to the gatehouse which became home to Colonel Joseph Hawkeswood.

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