Kenilworth Castle is one of the largest and finest ruined castles in England, with a rich history to match. It was founded by the Normans in the early 12th century. King John strengthened the castle by damming local rivers to form a large man made-lake (mere) around the perimeter. Its formidable defences were tested in the great siege of 1266, when the defenders held out for six months.
The castle was restored and expanded again in the late 16th century, with the owner Robert Leicester (Dudley) famously sparing no expense in his efforts to persuade Queen Elizabeth I to marry him.
Following the English Civil War, the castle fell into disrepair after being slighted and the mere drained. Today it is run by English Heritage.