Elizabethan inspiration for Kenilworth Castle's 2013 events programme

Kenilworth Castle’s most famous visitor has provided the inspiration for a blockbusting events programme from English Heritage, with a host of Elizabethan-themed fun, hands-on activities and historic re-enactments at Britain’s largest ruined castle!

“In the summer, we’ll be opening our new viewing platforms in Leicester’s Building, which will enable our visitors to share the views that Queen Elizabeth would have seen during her visit in 1575, so it seems only fitting that this year, we look to celebrate Kenilworth’s Elizabethan heritage, and bring to life many aspects of medieval life, from the role of the jester to recreating some aspects of her visit with the help of some of the country’s finest historic interpreters,” comments regional events manager for English Heritage, Charlie Evans.

The year kicks off over the Easter weekend (29 March to 1 April) with an invitation for visitors of all ages to be foolish – and indeed, to hone their skills of tomfoolery and slapstick – with a traditional court jester sharing his experiences and anecdotes on how to keep the monarch laughing, without losing your head!

The 16thcentury fun continues over the late Spring bank holiday (25 – 27 May 2013), with a celebration of ‘Sonnets and Swords’, a recreation of some aspects of the famous visit in 1575 when Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, rebuilt several sections of Kenilworth Castle to better please the Queen – and hopefully make her more susceptible to his ‘wooing’!

When the recreated Elizabethan Garden is at its most stunning and fragrant, visitors can celebrate the mid-summer weekend with a special garden party.  Although the garden was originally built exclusively for the private use of the queen, members of the public will be invited to mingle with Tudor royalty and nobles in a stunning event designed to make the most of the longest day of summer – continuing until 9pm!  The Elizabethan Garden party takes place on Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 June.

The Elizabethan celebrations are also joined by a host of other activities based around other key periods in Kenilworth Castle’s history.  A Medieval Joust over the weekend of 13 & 14 July recreates the time of chivalry and heroics, as English Heritage’s knights face each other across the tilt rail in a nail-biting competition of skill and daring!

Arthurian legends are also tackled as part of Kenilworth Castle’s summer holiday workshops, with a Knights of the Round Table Academy running from 5 – 9 August.  Other week-long summer holiday activities include a ‘siege challenge’ running 12 – 16 August and ‘Knights and Princesses Academy’ from 19 – 23 August.  The summer holidays round off with an epic “Siege” event over the August bank holiday weekend (25 & 26 August).

Following a hugely successful programme in 2012, Kenilworth Castle will also run a number of ‘after hours’ events this year, including spine-tingling ghost tours, a ‘Museums at Night’ evening of talks and tours and the ever popular Family Sleepovers.

For more information on any events taking place at Kenilworth Castle, please visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/kenilworth or call 01926 852078.

Kenilworth Castle is open daily from 23 March from 10.00am to 5.00pm.  Admission prices are £9.00 for adults, £8.10 for concessions and £5.40 for children, with a family ticket available for £23.40 (two adults and up to three children).  English Heritage members get in free.


Notes to editors:  If you would like a hard copy of English Heritage's 2013 press pack featuring all the events taking place throughout the West Midlands and Cheshire, a CD of accompanying imagery and a press pass, please contact Jay Commins on 01904 500698, email jay@pyperyork.co.uk.  An electronic copy is available in the English Heritage online press room.

For further media inforamtion, please contact:

Andrea Lee

Marketing Manager

Tel: 0121 625 6860

Email: andrea.lee@english-heritage.org.uk