The annual review of research by town historians is now out looking back to the castle as a daunting fortress to yesterday’s milkman, writes Norman Stevens.
The principal article from Kenilworth History 2014 is from celebrated architectural historian Dr Richard Morris regarding the small group of significant Victorian houses in Southbank Road.
The stimulus for the article was the demolition of Wilton House. All illustrations are in colour which brings particular vivacity to the article.
In more recent times, there is an account of the local dairy company, Gee’s, which closed down within living memory.
Another lost business was horn-comb making; Graham Gould, author of many books of photographs of old Kenilworth, has identified through property deeds lent to him activities carried on in houses in Castle Road. There is a ‘fun’ section of cartoons that were until recently displayed in the ‘Barn’ for young people to help them understand what the Abbey was and stood for, and what went on in it.
More dramatic is an article showing early landscaping of the castle before later occupants – mostly kings, but Robert Dudley, too – reshaped it to the palace whose remains we see today, more or less.
Surrounding the 12th century, squat, ominous Keep was a series of deep protective ditches that the bravest would not have tackled.
And at the practical level, David Brock reminds us of the prodigious amounts of soil that would have been moved as the site developed.
Also including text from Richard Stoney and cover illustrations, Kenilworth History 2014 is priced at £5 and now available to buy from Kenilworth Books.