Kenilworth Mere

Description of this historic site

The site of Kenilworth Mere, a Medieval pool created as part of Kenilworth Castle's defences, and of its associated dam. Field boundaries still mark the area it covered, which was to the west of the Castle.

Notes about this historic site

1 By damming two streams Geoffrey de Clinton or his son created the Mere or Great Pool. This was 1.2km long and in places 152m wide and defended Kenilworth Castle on its S and W and supplied a moat on the other two sides.
2 Kenilworth Castle was the strongest lake fortress in the kingdom. The Mere was created by the construction of a dam (PRN 5379). The area of the mere was recorded in a survey taken in Sir Robert Dudley’s lifetime as being 111 acres (46.2 ha). An estate map by James Fish dated to 40 years after the slighting of the castle defences shows some interesting details. To the S of the lake was a mill-stream which still survives in places (see PRN 3205).
3 There are no obvious signs of the edge of the Mere now, except for the field boundaries all the way round which apparently correspond to this.
4 Ordnance Survey Card.
5 Arch Observation of ground investigations to assist with proposals for a flood alleviation scheme in the Castle Mere. Test pits in the mere recorded alluvial deposits and there is considerable potential for important medieval waterlogged remains to survive adjacent to the south east end of the dam.
6 Arch Observation of excavation of postholes for new kissing gate and fence, no significant archaeological deposits were recorded.
7, 8 Extensive research carried out on the mere as part of a resource assessment for English Heritage, in 2001.
9 Stray find of a medieval horse pendant at SP277719. The method of recovery was not recorded.

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