Résumé of the ‘English’ de Montfort Family

During the course of 2016 there has been a lot of interest in Simon de Montfort, the 2nd Barons’ War and the Great Siege of Kenilworth. Numerous talks have been delivered on these subjects and two questions have been repeatedly asked:

13th century image of Simon de Montfort "the younger" or Simon VI de Montfort
13th century image of Simon de Montfort “the younger”

Firstly: “Why did the young Simon de Montfort not return from France with an army to assist his fellow rebels still inside Kenilworth Castle?”

Secondly: “What became of the remainder of Earl Simon de Montfort’s family?”

I will endeavour to answer these questions as best I may.

Young Simon, and his brother Guy (the most warlike and volatile of the two), did indeed try to raise an army but King Louis IX took steps to ensure that they were not successful. England may have been France’s hereditary enemy but King Louis did not wish to create a precedent by helping rebels against another anointed King.

Guy of Montfort (1244)
Guy of Montfort (1244)

Simon and Guy eventually entered the service of the Count of Anjou. Guy soon distinguished himself in battle, was created Count of Nola and married into one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Italy – the Aldobrandeschi family.

In March of 1271, whilst in Tuscany, they heard that their cousin, Henry of Almain, had just arrived in the nearby town of Viterbo where they went intent upon revenge for the killing of their father and elder brother at Evesham. They found their cousin at prayer in the church of San Silvestro where they murdered him as he clung to the altar begging for mercy. Both Simon and Guy were excommunicated and Guy was stripped of his titles but, with the assistance of his very influential family, he escaped justice and re-joined the Count of Anjou. Several years later, whilst on campaign in Sicily Guy was captured and eventually died in a Sicilian prison. Simon became a wandering fugitive, weighed down by guilt for the sacrilege committed at Viterbo, and soon died in Siena. Interestingly, 40 years after Guy de Montfort’s death, his infamous reputation had not diminished. Danté, when creating his ‘Divine Comedy’, placed Guy de Montfort in the 7th Circle of Hell in his ‘Inferno’ where he “slid into a river of boiling blood” – clearly what Danté considered to be his just deserts!

Eleanor Countess of Leicester
Eleanor Countess of Leicester

Of the remainder of Earl Simon’s family his Countess, Eleanor, went into exile in France after her husband’s death where she lived out her life at Montargis in a house rented from the nuns. She was eventually buried in Montargis Abbey.

Their son Amaury who was the most highly educated and charismatic of the de Montfort siblings had a very successful career in the Church; studied medicine in Padua; became a Papal Chaplain and was instrumental in persuading Pope Clement to intercede with King Henry III to have Earl Simon’s mangled remains exhumed and reinterred in consecrated ground back at Evesham Abbey.

Richard, their youngest son, died in France aged around 20.

Edward I of England
Edward I of England

So, that just leaves their only surviving daughter Eleanor who, prior to the battle of Evesham, had been betrothed to her father’s ally Llewelyn ap Gruffydd, Prince of Wales. Following Earl Simon’s defeat and death Llewelyn withdrew from the betrothal and Eleanor accompanied her mother into exile in France. Several years later Llewelyn renewed his suit and Eleanor, accompanied by her brother Amaury, set sail for Wales. Unfortunately their ship was captured by pirates and they were delivered into the hands of their cousin Edward, now King Edward I of England. Edward has sworn revenge on all of the de Montfort brothers for the murder of their cousin Henry of Almain. Amaury is known to have been in Padua at the time of the murder but, nonetheless, Edward had him incarcerated in the notorious stronghold of Corfe castle where he languished for several years before he was eventually released and returned to France.

Meanwhile Eleanor had been forced to remain at court ostensibly as Edward’s honoured guest though in reality as a hostage for Prince Llewelyn’s good behaviour. He did eventually let her go and she did marry her Welsh Prince but sadly died giving birth to their only child, a daughter, the Princess Gwenllian. Llewelyn was later killed in an ambush and King Edward had the child Gwenllian delivered to the nuns at the isolated Sempringham Priory in Lincolnshire where she grew up and joined the very strict Gilbertine Order, eventually dying aged 58 – the last of the ‘English’ de Montfort line.

Jan Cooper
December 2016

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Dictum of Kenilworth copy on display at the Barn Museum

Sunday 4th, Saturday the 10th and Sunday 11th of September will be the final three opening days of the season for the Barn Museum and Heritage Centre in Abbey Fields. On these three days a copy of the Dictum of Kenilworth will be on display so that you can get up close to the text that helped shape our democracy.

Dictum of Kenilworth
The Dictum of Kenilworth, dated 30th October 1266

The Dictum of Kenilworth was, in essence, a peace treaty with the rebels following the death of Simon de Montfort. The document marks the end of the reform movement and the restoration of royal power, although many of the reforms passed by Simon de Montfort were accepted by the king.

In November 1267, clauses from the Dictum of Kenilworth were incorporated into the Statute of Marlborough, which is still today the the oldest piece of statute law in the United Kingdom that has not yet been repealed.

The original Dictum manuscript is now held by the National Archives in a collection known as the Book of Statutes and Formulary book of writs. The National Archives rather colourfully records its creator as being the ‘Exchequer, and its related bodies, with those of the Office of First Fruits and Tenths, and the Court of Augmentations’.

Following its appearance in the Abbey Barn on the dates shown above, this display copy will be touring the schools of the area to educate the next generation on its realm shaping significance.

More information can be found on this remarkable document here.

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THE GREAT SIEGE OF KENILWORTH – Time Line

A timeline of the events of the great Siege of Kenilworth from its origins in August 1265 to its aftermath in December 1266:


August 1265 – survivors of the battle of Evesham make their way back to Kenilworth Castle where Eleanor, Countess of Leicester, is waiting with her younger children.  The castle has been kept well provisioned with both food and siege equipment.

Eleanor, Countess of Leicester
Eleanor, Countess of Leicester

The Countess and her children leave Kenilworth for Dover and eventual exile in France where she finds favour with the French Queen and lives out her life at Montargis. Several months of negotiations follow between King and revels within the castle.

Coat of arms of Simon de Montfort
Coat of arms of Simon de Montfort

Towards the end of the year Eleanor’s second son, young Simon, leaves the castle to meet with other supporters at Ely.  On his way back he is captured by Prince Edward and forced to agree to surrender Kenilworth Castle to the King.  However on arriving at the castle the garrison commander, Henry de Hastings, refuses to comply saying that he holds the castle in the name of the Countess of Leicester and will yield it to none but her.  Young Simon is then sent under guard to London but escapes on route and flees to France to try to raise support for the rebels.


March 1266 – King’s messenger returns from Kenilworth minus a hand.


May 1266 – King calls a muster at Northampton.


22 June 1266 – King arrives outside Kenilworth Castle with a vast army vowing not to leave until the castle falls.  Four siege camps are established commanded by King Henry, Prince Edward, Prince Edmund and Roger de Mortimer.

The King requisitions vast quantities of munitions, money, food and drink to be sent to Kenilworth.  Powerful siege machines (Trebuchets, Mangonels and Ballistas) and fighting towers are brought and also barges for what was to be an unsuccessful assault across the Mere.

Mangonel
Drawing of a Mangonel by Eric Pedlar

As Patron of the Priory the King was entitled to hospitality and would most likely have been accommodated there, with his Queen, when not at his siege camp.  The Archbishops of Canterbury and York and Cardinal Ottobuono (the Papal Legate) also spent much time at Kenilworth during the months of the siege.  The latter tried to mediate between the King and the rebels but to no avail.


July 1266 – Cardinal Ottobuono (wearing his red cope) excommunicates those inside the castle.  (It is said that he delivered this Papal Bull of Excommunication from a safe vantage point at the top of Castle Hill – still known as ‘Bull Hill’.  This may be apocryphal.

Cardinal Ottobuono
Cardinal Ottobuono, later Pope Adrian V

Apparently this act arouses the defiance of the rebels who, according to Robert of Gloucester, have a cope and other clothes made in white in which they dress Master Philip Porpeis, a cleric and their surgeon, who presents himself on the battlements of the castle as a ‘White Legate’ and “excommunicates” the King, the Cardinal and the whole army!


August 1266 – Papal Legate requests that the King call a Parliament at Kenilworth – given the people involved and the facilities which they would require, the most likely venue for this is the Priory.  The purpose of this meeting was to set up a Commission to decide what steps should be taken to return peace to the land and to consider the case of the ‘disinherited’ (as the rebels had come to be known).

Eventually agreement is reached and the terms of surrender are set out in a document known as The Dictum of Kenilworth.


31st October 1266 – The Dictum is read out to the rebels and also publicly proclaimed at St. Mary’s Church, Warwick.

The terms of surrender include allowing for the rebels to leave the castle unmolested and give the ‘disinherited’ the opportunity to buy back their lands on payment of heavy fines set on a sliding scale dependent upon the extent of their involvement in the war and siege.  The exceptions to this are the members of the garrison who were involved in maiming the King’s messenger and the garrison commander, Henry de Hastings.  They are to be imprisoned at the King’s will.

Dictum of Kenilworth
The Dictum of Kenilworth, dated 30th October 1266

The rebels decline on the basis that the terms are intolerable and they have not been given any say in choosing the Commissioners.   They are also still hoping that help will come from France.


November 1266 – the King gives the rebels 40 days of grace.  If no help is forthcoming by then (11th December) they must surrender or expect no mercy. The King and Prince Edward prepare for an all-out final assault.

Trebuchet
Drawing of a trebuchet by the late Eric Pedlar, taken from the siege booklet from the 1966 commemorations

Mid November 1266 – Conditions within castle deteriorate rapidly and starvation and disease cause many deaths. They have no alternative but to surrender.


13 December 1266 – the King grants letters of safe conduct to the rebels to go where they wish and they depart, banners flying.


15 December 1266 – the King leaves ending an almost six months’ stay during which time England was governed directly from Kenilworth – a situation unprecedented in English medieval history.

The Arms of Henry de Hastings
The Arms of Henry de Hastings

Despite the exclusion of Henry de Hastings and others from the ‘benefits’ of the Dictum, by July 1267 Prince Edward had received them into the King’s peace, they having sworn on the Holy Gospels to keep the peace and never bear arms against the King or his heirs again.  De Hastings did not keep his word!  He became leader of the remaining “disinherited” in the Isle of Ely (just prior to their surrender) and died the following year.


THE AFTERMATH

 The conditions inside the castle must have been quite dreadful and the Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire was given the obnoxious task of having it cleared up.  He was also instructed to dismantle the siege engines.  The Priory was completely impoverished, having been forced to support the King for such a very long time.


16 December 1266 – The King grants the castle and the earldom of Leicester to his second son Prince Edmund, later also creating him Earl of Lancaster.  Thus begins almost 200 years of Lancastrian ownership of the castle and patronage of the priory during which time both grow and prosper once more – but that is another story!

A depiction of Prince Edmund and St George
A depiction of Prince Edmund and St George

 

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The Second Barons’ War & the Siege of Kenilworth – the short and long term effects both locally and nationally

Extract from KHAS original Siege booklet published 1966:

 “The effects of this long siege on the lives of the local people in Warwickshire were severe.  Even before it started, the defenders were looting and destroying property and taking what they required to stock the castle.  Then the King’s army lived off the land for many months causing great hardship to the community by their demands for supplies.  Contemporary accounts record some of the relevant facts.  For instance, the Canons of the Priory of St. Mary at Kenilworth were impoverished to such an extent that in January 1267 the King issued Letters Patent requiring all the tenants of the Priory to contribute money to relieve its immediate financial difficulties.  It is on record too that, during September alone, the Priory had been obliged to give 300 quarters of corn to the army.

Henry III
A depiction of Henry III’s coronation from the 13th-century

Further afield, the Monks of Stoneleigh Abbey made representations to the King for provisions supplied to him and, two years later, the Sheriff of Warwickshire was paid £75.13.9 for 255 quarters of wheat, 52 oxen and 173 sheep which had been collected throughout Warwickshire for the King’s army.”

In 1268 King Henry III granted a Market Charter and Fair to his son Edmund for a weekly market on Tuesdays at his Manor of Kenilworth and an annual fair there on the Vigil, the Feast and the Morrow of St. Michael.  This would certainly have helped to boost the local economy.

 

The arms of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester and King Henry III.
The arms of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester and King Henry III.

As for Simon de Montfort – he has been remembered down the centuries as “the father of democracy”.  This may not have been quite what he had in mind at the time but in the future parliaments would gradually see an increase in the inclusion and involvement of men of lower rank until eventually there would be two “houses” – “Lords and Commons”.

A plaque bearing de Montfort’s name adorns the House of Representatives in Washington DC:

Bust of de Montfort in US Capitol
Bust of Simon de Montfort from the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol. One of 23 marble relief portraits over the gallery doors depicting historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principles that underlie American law. They were installed when the chamber was remodeled in 1949-1950.

 

Jan Cooper
30.5.16

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The Great Siege of Kenilworth 1266

Siege Booklet Cover
‘The Great Siege of Kenilworth 1266’ booklet Cover drawn by the late Eric Pedlar, produced for the 1966 commemorations

Jan Cooper discusses the events of the Great Siege of Kenilworth 1266, following on from her earlier article on the life and death of Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham:

Those of Earl Simon’s supporters who had escaped the carnage of Evesham made their way back to Kenilworth Castle where we believe Eleanor, Countess of Leicester, was waiting with her younger children. Also returning to Kenilworth was the Earl’s second son, also called Simon, who had arrived at Evesham too late to help his father and elder brother. There was much anger and bitterness amongst the Montfortian supporters and that anger was directed towards Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the King’s brother, who had been at Kenilworth in his sister’s custody since his capture at Lewes. He had therefore played no part in the battle of Evesham or Earl Simon’s death but Young Simon so feared for his uncle’s life that he had him released.

De Montfort Plaque
Plaque laid near where the altar of Evesham Abbey Church would have been to mark the spot where Simon de Montfort’s remains were buried.

King Henry tried to persuade the rebels to leave the castle, saying that if they would surrender immediately they would lose neither their lives nor lands but they did not trust him and remained where they were. He then disinherited all of those who continued to stand out against him.

The Countess Eleanor and her younger children went to Dover Castle and eventual exile in France where she found favour with the French Queen and lived out her life at Montargis.

Kenilworth castle had been kept well provisioned with both food and siege equipment, including Trebuchets. During the next few months the rebels ravaged the countryside looting and stock-piling food and munitions against the expected siege.

Late in 1265 Young Simon left the castle to meet with other supporters at Ely. On his way back he was captured by Prince Edward and forced to agree to surrender Kenilworth Castle and accept the King’s peace. However on arriving at the castle the garrison commander, Henry de Hastings, refused to comply saying that he held the castle in the name of the Countess of Leicester and would surrender to no one but her. This may have been something which had been agreed between Young Simon and de Hastings prior to him leaving the castle, just in case he should be captured. He was then sent under guard to London but escaped on route and fled to France to try to raise support.

In March 1266 one of the King’s messengers returned from Kenilworth minus a hand – the time for talking seemed to be over and the King called a muster which finally took place at Northampton in May. Once all the armies were assembled they set out, arriving at Kenilworth around 22nd June, the King vowing that he would not leave until the castle fell.

Four siege camps were established commanded by King Henry, Prince Edward, Prince Edmund and Roger de Mortimer.

Siege Map
Map of the Siege of Kenilworth 1266, drawn by the late Eric Pedlar

The King requisitioned vast quantities of munitions, money, food and drink to be sent to Kenilworth. Powerful siege machines (Trebuchets, Mangonels and Ballistas) and fighting towers were brought and also barges for what was to be an unsuccessful assault across the Mere.

Cardinal Ottobuono
Cardinal Ottobuono, later Pope Adrian V, was sent to England in 1265 by Pope Clement IV

As Patron of the Priory the King was entitled to hospitality and would most likely have been accommodated there, with his Queen, when not at his siege camp. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York and Cardinal Ottobuono (the Papal Legate) also spent much time at Kenilworth during the months of the siege. The latter tried to mediate between the King and the rebels but to no avail.

In July Cardinal Ottobuono (wearing his red cope) excommunicated those inside the castle. (It is said that he delivered his Papal Bull of Excommunication from a safe vantage point at the top of Castle Hill – still known as ‘Bull Hill’. (This may be apocryphal.)

Apparently this act aroused the defiance of the rebels who, according to Robert of Gloucester, had a cope and other clothes made in white in which they dressed Master Philip Porpeis, a cleric and their surgeon, who presented himself on the battlements of the castle as a ‘White Legate’ and “excommunicated” the King, the Cardinal and the whole army! Morale was clearly still very high as they awaited the expected relieving force from France.

In August, at the Cardinal’s request, the King called a Parliament at Kenilworth – given the people involved and the facilities which they would require, the most likely venue for this is the Priory Church. The purpose of this meeting was to set up a Commission to decide what steps should be taken to return peace to the land and to consider the case of the ‘disinherited’ (as the rebels had come to be known). An order was made for an initial committee of 3 Bishops and 3 Barons’ representatives:

  • Walter, Bishop of Exeter
  • Walter Gifford, Bishop of Bath and Wells (then Chancellor)
  • Bishop of Worcester
  • Roger de Somery
  • Robert Walerand
  • Alan de la Zouch

They then co-opted the following:

Bishop of St. David’s, Earl of Gloucester, Earl of Hereford, John de Baliol, Phillip Basset and Warin de Bassingbourne, making a full Committee of 12.

The Papal Legate and Henry of Almain (the King’s nephew) were appointed Arbiters in the event of a dispute – their services were called upon several times during the deliberations.

Eventually agreement was reached and the terms of surrender set out in a document known as The Dictum of Kenilworth. This allowed for the rebels to leave the castle unmolested and gave the ‘disinherited’ the opportunity to buy back their lands on payment of very heavy fines set on a sliding scale dependent upon the extent of each individual’s involvement in the war and siege. The exceptions to the ‘benefits’ of the Dictum were the members of the garrison who were involved in maiming the King’s messenger and the garrison commander, Henry de Hastings. They were to be imprisoned at the King’s will.

The Dictum was delivered to the castle on 31st October 1266 and was, the following week, publicly proclaimed at St. Mary’s Church, Warwick.

De Hastings declined to accept on the basis that the terms were intolerable and they had been given no say in choosing the Commissioners. He demanded changes and was playing for time, still hoping that help would come from France.

Dictum of Kenilworth
The Dictum of Kenilworth, dated 30th October 1266

As chivalry demanded the King gave the rebels 40 days of grace saying that if no word had been received from France by 11th December they must surrender or expect no mercy. The King and Prince Edward then began to prepare for a final all-out assault upon the castle.

Conditions within the castle must then have deteriorated very quickly. Their dwindling food supplies had run out, they had already eaten their own starving horses and then disease, probably dysentery, swept through the castle. In their weakened state many died and those who survived were forced to accept the terms of the Dictum of Kenilworth and surrender. Starvation and disease had succeeded where siege warfare had failed! (The Annals of Dunstable tell us that “at the beginning of the siege there were within the castle 1000 men – 700 of whom were armed and ‘vigorous’ – plus 160 women and an unknown number of servants.” There is no record of how many survived).

On 13 December the King granted letters of safe conduct to the rebels to go where they wished and they departed, banners flying.

Henry III Effigy
Effigy of King Henry III in Westminster Abbey, c. 1272

King Henry finally left on 15th December ending an almost six months’ stay, an unprecedented length of time for a medieval monarch to remain in one place. During that time the whole of England had been governed directly from Kenilworth.

The conditions inside the castle when the siege finally ended must have been quite dreadful and the Sheriff of Warwickshire and Leicestershire was given the obnoxious task of having it cleaned up. He was also instructed to dismantle the siege engines.

The Priory was completely impoverished, having been forced to support the King for such a very long time.

On 16 December 1266 King Henry granted the castle of Kenilworth and the earldom of Leicester to his second son the Lord Edmund, later also creating him Earl of Lancaster, and thus began almost 200 years of Lancastrian ownership of the castle and patronage of the priory during which time both grew and prospered once more – but that is another story!

Despite the exclusion of Henry de Hastings and others from the ‘benefits’ of the Dictum, by July 1267 Prince Edward had received them into the King’s peace, they having sworn on the Holy Gospels to keep the peace and never bear arms against the King or his heirs again. De Hastings did not keep his word! He became leader of the remaining “disinherited” in the Isle of Ely (just prior to their surrender) and died the following year.

A final thought. Many “Kenilworthian’s” believe that the 1266 Parliament was held on the field now known as “Parliament Piece”. There is actually no contemporary written evidence to tell us exactly where in Kenilworth the 1266 Parliament was held, nor to support the suggestion that Parliament Piece is in any way connected with this event. Indeed, since 17th century musket balls have been found there – but no 13th century artefacts – it seems more likely that the name derives from Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarian forces who may have camped there when they came to Kenilworth during that Civil War. For further comment on this see Kenilworth History 2016 page 16.

Jan Cooper

6.4.16

 

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Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester

In January 1265 Simon de Montfort called a Parliament (in the name of King Henry III), when for the first time commoners were invited to play a small part in the decisions made. This was an early landmark in the development of Parliament which would, centuries later, result in the two house democratic parliamentary system which we have today. De Montfort’s name has been remembered through the centuries as the ‘father’ of democracy.

The de Montfort Colours
A depiction of the de Montfort colours, with a backdrop of the ruins of Kenilworth Castle.

Simon de Montfort was born at Montfort-l’Amaury, France, around 1208 and came to England in 1230 to regain the earldom of Leicester which had once been held by his family. He found favour with King Henry III, recovered the earldom and married Eleanor, the King’s sister.

Kenilworth Castle was a favourite family residence of the de Montforts. Two of their seven children were born at the castle – their eldest son, Henry, named for the King; and their last child and only surviving daughter, Eleanor. The King eventually gave the castle to Earl Simon and his wife for both their lifetimes – a generosity which he would no doubt come to regret!

Despite the fact that Earl Simon’s character and ideals were very different to those of King Henry they got on well for around 9 years but then things started to sour and they eventually found themselves on opposing sides during the so called Second Barons’ War. There was resentment of the King’s increasing power and the fact that he preferred to rely on the counsel of his foreign advisors (mainly relatives), rather than that of his own Barons, which lead to increasingly high taxation to fund some misguided and unsuccessful overseas campaigns. Notwithstanding efforts to reform the government, the situation deteriorated into civil war with Earl Simon emerging as leader of the opposition.

The arms of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester and King Henry III.
The arms of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester and King Henry III.

The battle of Lewes in May 1264 was a resounding victory for the Barons. The King, his son Prince Edward, and his brother Earl Richard of Cornwall, were taken prisoner and Earl Simon was virtual ruler of England for the next 15 months. Prince Edward escaped custody in May 1265 and began the fight to restore his father to the throne. In late July 1265 there was a skirmish at Kenilworth. Earl Simon’s second son, young Simon, was encamped with his army outside Kenilworth Castle when Prince Edward led an early morning surprise attack. Young Simon lost many men and also his banners which were subsequently used by the Prince to deceive Earl Simon into thinking that his son was approaching. By the time Young Simon and what was left of his army had recovered they were too late to save his father and elder brother from defeat and death at Evesham on 4th August 1265. Earl Simon’s body was horribly mutilated on the battle field – his head and limbs (and also his more private parts!) were hacked off and sent to different parts of the country as a warning to others.

Battle of Evesham
A 13th-century cloth depiction of the mutilation of de Montfort’s body after the Battle of Evesham. Above Simon is the body of his son Henry.

Earl Simon’s final battle was the precursor to the great siege of Kenilworth Castle which took place the following year. This was the longest siege in English Medieval history and lasted from 22nd June to 13th December 1266. 2016 is the 750th anniversary of this momentous event in Kenilworth’s history.

Bust of de Montfort in US Capitol
Plaque of Simon de Montfort from the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol. One of 23 marble relief portraits over the gallery doors depicting historical figures noted for their work in establishing the principles that underlie American law. They were installed when the chamber was remodelled in 1949-1950.

For further information concerning Simon de Montfort and the Barons’ War visit www.simondemontfort.org, the website of the Simon de Montfort Society.

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Forthcoming Events for 2016

Details of KHAS events for 2016

Festival of Archaeology 2016

On 31st July 2016 KHAS members will be hosting a free guided walk of  Kenilworth Abbey ruins in support of the CBA’s Festival of Archaeology 2016.

KHAS Events for 2016
Council for British Archaeology (CBA)

Take a walk back in time to when Kenilworth’s St. Mary’s Priory, later Abbey, was one of the wealthiest and most prestigious Augustinian houses in the Midlands. Hear about the men who lived here, what their lives were like and what happened to them and their beautiful buildings.

The Great Siege of Kenilworth 1266 - 2016 (750 years)
The Great Siege of Kenilworth 1266 – 2016 (750 years)

2016 is the 750th anniversary of the Great Siege of Kenilworth. In 1266 King Henry III (the Priory’s Royal patron) spent six months besieging Kenilworth Castle. Hear how this momentous event affected the Priory and its Canons.

The walk will commence at 3pm and lasts about one hour. We will meet outside the Abbey ‘Barn’ Museum and Heritage Centre on Abbey Fields, Kenilworth.

Jan Cooper
Chairman, KHAS.

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