Picture of the Week #623

Remains of The Pleasance at Kenilworth Castle, built for Henry V. Photo May 2015.

Even though Kenilworth has many, many associations with Tudor history, the reason I’m featuring it today has to do with its ties to Henry V. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m doing the Shakespeare 2020 Project and we’re reading Henry V right now as it coincides with the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt (October 25, 1415). Henry V was at Kenilworth Castle when he received the infamous gift of tennis balls from the French king in Act I, Scene 2 of the play (probably based on a real incident).

Henry V had The Pleasance constructed along the mere, where it was reached by boat from the castle. It was eventually dismantled in the reign of Henry VIII and only the earthworks remain. To reach it now, you take a footpath from the castle until you reach the information plaque you see in the photo. It’s hard to appreciate the remains from ground level, so I’ve added a screen shot from Google Earth below with the location of where I took the photo from circled in blue.

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