Information for record number MWA3225:
Kenilworth Mere

Summary 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.
What Is It?  
Type: Pond, Dam, Findspot
Period: Medieval (1066 AD - 1539 AD)
Where Is It?  
Parish: Kenilworth
District: Warwick, Warwickshire
Grid Reference: SP 27 72
(Data represented on this map shows the current selected record as a single point, this is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent an accurate or complete representation of archaeological sites or features)
Level of Protection National - Old SMR PrefRef (Grade: )
Scheduled Monument (Grade: 04/01/1996)
Registered Park or Garden (Grade: II)
Sites & Monuments Record

Source Number  

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.
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.

Source No: 7
Source Type: Archaeological Report
Title: Kenilworth Castle Warwickshire: A preliminary Archaeological Assessment of the Mere and Associated Features
Author/originator: Boucher, A.
Date: 2000
Page Number:
Source No: 8
Source Type: Archaeological Report
Title: Kenilworth Castle, Archaeological Resource Assessment of the Mere and Associated Features.
Author/originator: Boucher, A
Date: 2001
Page Number:
Source No: 1
Source Type: Bibliographic reference
Title: Victoria County History, vol 6, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Salzman L F (ed)
Date: 1951
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: VI
Source No: 5
Source Type: Observation Report
Title: Archaeological Observation of Test Pits at Kenilworth Castle Mere, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Jones C
Date: 1999
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: Report 9909
Source No: 6
Source Type: Observation Report
Title: Archaeological Observation of a Kissing Gate and Fence at Kenilworth Castle Mere, Warwickshire
Author/originator: Jones C
Date: 2000
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: Report 0043
Source No: 4
Source Type: Record Card/Form
Title: OS Card 29NE1
Author/originator: Ordnance Survey
Date: 1967
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: 29NE1
Source No: 2
Source Type: Serial
Title: TBAS vol 81
Author/originator: Drew J
Date: 1963
Page Number: 74-7
Volume/Sheet: 81
Source No: 3
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: SMR Card
Author/originator: Thomson D J
Date: 1983
Page Number:
Volume/Sheet: PRN 4402
Source No: 9
Source Type: Unpublished document
Title: Stray find of medieval horse pendant in Kenilworth
Author/originator: WM
Date: 1992
Page Number:
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Word or Phrase
none Scheduled Monument Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) are those archaeological sites which are legally recognised as being of national importance. They can range in date from prehistoric times to the Cold War period. They can take many different forms, including disused buildings or sites surviving as earthworks or cropmarks.

SAMs are protected by law from unlicensed disturbance and metal detecting. Written consent from the Secretary of State must be obtained before any sort of work can begin, including archaeological work such as geophysical survey or archaeological excavation. There are nearly 200 SAMs in Warwickshire.
none Registered Park or Garden Parks and gardens that are considered to be of historic importance are placed on a register. The register comprises a variety of town gardens, public parks and country estates. The main purpose of the register is to help ensure that the features and qualities that make the parks and gardens special are safeguarded if changes are being considered which could affect them.

The gardens on the register are divided into three grades in order to give some guidance about their significance, in a similar way to Listed Buildings. The majority of parks and gardens on the Register are of sufficient interest as to be designated as grade II. Some, however, are recognised as being of exceptional historic interest and are awarded a star giving them grade II* status. A small number are of international importance, and are classified as grade I.
source OS Card Ordnance Survey Record Card. Before the 1970s the Ordnance Survey (OS) were responsible for recording archaeological monuments during mapping exercises. This helped the Ordnance Survey to decide which monuments to publish on maps. During these exercises the details of the monuments were written down on record cards. Copies of some of the cards are kept at the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. The responsibility for recording archaeological monuments later passed to the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments. back
source SMR Card Sites and Monuments Record Card. The Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record began to be developed during the 1970s. The details of individual archaeological sites and findspots were written on record cards. These record cards were used until the 1990s, when their details were entered on to a computerised system. The record cards are still kept at the office of the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
source TBAS Transactions of the Birmingham and Warwickshire Archaeological Society is a journal produced by the society annually. It contains articles about archaeological field work that has taken place in Birmingham and Warwickshire in previous years. Copies of the journal are kept by the Warwickshire Sites and Monuments Record. back
technique excavation Archaeologists excavate sites so that they can find information and recover archaeological materials before they are destroyed by erosion, construction or changes in land-use.

Depending on how complicated and widespread the archaeological deposits are, excavation can be done by hand or with heavy machinery. Archaeologists may excavate a site in a number of ways; either by open area excavation, by digging a test pit or a trial trench.
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technique Test Pit A small, exploratory excavation that helps archaeologists to find out how deep below the ground surface the archaeological layers extend. They are also dug to discover whether the topsoil contains particular concentrations of artefacts. Test pits are dug before a large excavation to determine a site's depth and contents. back
period Medieval 1066 AD to 1539 AD (the 11th century AD to the 16th century AD)

The medieval period comes after the Saxon period and before the post medieval period.

The Medieval period begins in 1066 AD.
This was the year that the Normans, led by William the Conqueror (1066 – 1087), invaded England and defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings in East Sussex.
The Medieval period includes the first half of the Tudor period (1485 – 1603 AD), when the Tudor family reigned in England and eventually in Scotland too.

The end of the Medieval period is marked by Henry VIII’s (1509 – 1547) order for the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the years running up to 1539 AD. The whole of this period is sometimes called the Middle Ages.
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monument POOL * A small body of water, either natural or artificial. back
monument SITE * Unclassifiable site with minimal information. Specify site type wherever possible. back
monument FORTRESS * A major fortified place, often a town, capable of containing a large force. If Roman use LEGIONARY FORTRESS. back
monument KISSING GATE * A small gate swinging in a U or V-shaped enclosure, which allows only one person to pass through at a time. back
monument LAKE * A large body of water surrounded by land. back
monument ARCH * A structure over an opening usually formed of wedge-shaped blocks of brick or stone held together by mutual pressure and supported at the sides; they can also be formed from moulded concrete/ cast metal. A component; use for free-standing structure only. back
monument MILL * A factory used for processing raw materials. Use more specific mill type where known. See also TEXTILE MILL, for more narrow terms. back
monument FEATURE * Areas of indeterminate function. back
monument POND * A body of still water often artificially formed for a specific purpose. Use specifc type where known. back
monument FINDSPOT * The approximate location at which stray finds of artefacts were found. Index with object name. back
monument MOAT * A wide ditch surrounding a building, usually filled with water. Use for moated sites, not defensive moats. Use with relevant site type where known, eg. MANOR HOUSE, GARDEN, etc. back
monument CASTLE * A fortress and dwelling, usually medieval in origin, and often consisting of a keep, curtain wall and towers etc. back
monument FIELD * An area of land, often enclosed, used for cultivation or the grazing of livestock. back
monument DEFENCE * This is the top term for the class. See DEFENCE Class List for narrow terms. back
monument SIGN * A board, wall painting or other structure displaying advice, giving information or directions back
monument ROUND * A small, Iron Age/Romano-British enclosed settlement found in South West England. back
monument STREAM * A natural flow or current of water issuing from a source. back
monument FENCE * A construction of wood or metal used to enclose an area of land, a building, etc. back
monument DAM * A barrier of concrete or earth, etc, built across a river to create a reservoir of water for domestic and/or industrial usage. back

* Copyright of English Heritage (1999)

English Heritage National Monuments Record