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Watercolour - The Keep at Kenilworth
  • The Keep at Kenilworth
    Callow, William, born 1812 - died 1908
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The Keep at Kenilworth

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    1856 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Callow, William, born 1812 - died 1908 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Bernard H. Webb

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case WD, shelf 7, box A

Physical description

Watercolour entitled 'The Keep at Kenilworth'. Signed and dated by the artist.

Place of Origin

Britain (painted)


1856 (painted)


Callow, William, born 1812 - died 1908 (artist)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

W. Callow

Keep at Kenilworth / July 30th / 1856
Inscribed with title and dated


Height: 13 in, Width: 9.5 in

Descriptive line

Watercolour entitled 'The Keep at Kenilworth' by William Callow. Great Britain, 1856.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The visitor to Kenilworth today is greeted with ruins that give a hint of the castle's former splendor. The oldest fortification on the site dates back to Norman times and is the large blocky keep. The castle was enlarged and modified through and past the reign of Elizabeth I but fell into ruin after the English Civil War.

One turret of the old Norman keep had a clock in Elizabethan times, and some of the markings can still be seen. The building did not originally have so many windows, as they were added in Tudor times when the castle ceased to be a structure for defense. The addition of the large windows would have allowed much more natural light into the keep.

The forebuilding of the keep was altered in 1570 to make a loggia (an arcaded gallery) which led from the Inner Court to a garden in the Outer Court. In medieval times, the forebuilding would have served as protection for the main entrance to the keep, but this would not have been a necessity in the relative peace and stability of the 16th century. A reconstructed Tudor garden was added next to the keep in 1970.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design & Department of Paintings, Accessions 1919, London: Printed Under the Authority of His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1921




Watercolour drawing

Subjects depicted

Castles; Keep; Norman; Tudor


Paintings; Drawings


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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