How accurate is the guidebook information about Kenilworth Castle?
The guidebook has a lot of information that is also in the source booklet that we have had provided, I am also going to use the knowledge of my visit to Kenilworth and some other books to get a wide variety of information. In the guidebook the sentence “John of Gaunt changed the palace into a palace erecting a splendid house and private apartments.” This can be linked up with the information is source F which is about the fact that in the middle ages the castle was improved and made more comfortable. In the site visit we could see that the slit windows had been opened up to let more light in and we could see that on the newest section the stone looked slightly different and there were great fire places that wouldn’t have been there earlier
The guidebook tells us ” The Great Hall was for meetings, meals and (sometimes) sleeping, with the service rooms (Kitchen, store rooms) at one end and the private apartments at the other.” This can be matched up with source E in the source booklet, which tells us that the castle was centred around the great hall. Source G tells us that the castle had a demand for more space and we can see this information in this extraction from the guidebook. ” King John radically extended the castle. An outer perimeter was built with towers at intervals.” On the sight visit we could see that there was a ditch inside the outer court yard which suggested that this was originally one of the obstacles on the outside of the castle and so we could see that the outer wall was an extension to the castle perimeter.
“Midland England has but few early magnificent castles apart from those at Kenilworth and Warwick.” That paragraph can be linked up with source A in the source booklet, which tells us about the lack of strong holds in England. From my own knowledge I know that there aren’t many big and strong castles in England apart from Warwick and Kenilworth. Source H tells us how Queen Elizabeth had gone hunting late in the day. This extract from the guidebook tells us ” Monday was hot, and the Queen did go hunting until late in the day, returning by torch-light. On Tuesday there was music and dancing, and on Wednesday, hunting again. Thirteen bears were baited by dogs in the outer court on Thursday, followed by more fireworks.”
In the book called ‘Wicked Weapons’ written by Elizabeth Newbery it tells us that “one of the main ways of attacking a castle would be to use a battering ram, this would have had a roof to protect the soldiers from falling rocks and arrows.” In the guidebook it tells us that “the attacking army would use battering rams to bash down the main doors” So in conclusion the guidebook is very accurate, it has lots of information and it is easy to tell that Ken Osborne (editor) did a lot of research into the history of Kenilworth Castle and got his information from lots of different sources.