160 Year 7 students visited Kenilworth Castle over two days this October in an inaugural annual trip for the History department. Students visited the 900-year-old site as part of their work on Norman castles.
We began our visit at the 500-year-old stables. Students visited the exhibition to learn more about the interesting history of the castle and to see original artefacts such as original trebuchet balls! We then headed to the main castle to see the huge Norman keep built in the 1120s, followed by the Great Hall, kitchens and cellars. It was here that students got the opportunity to investigate mysterious staircases and rooms, and to see across the Warwickshire countryside where a great mere once encircled the castle as part of its defences.
We then enjoyed climbing the many floors of Leicester’s Building and found ourselves in Elizabeth I’s bedroom (now home to lots of pigeons!). We also went on a tour of Leicester’s Gatehouse and saw many original Elizabethan features such as a 16th Century alabaster fireplace. One of the English Heritage staff commented on how well behaved and respectful all the students were inside the gatehouse.
The trip finished with a short visit to the gift shop and a final group photo in front of the Great Hall. The weather (just about) held out on both days, and students on the Monday trip had the experience of a red sun over the castle as a side-effect of Hurricane Ophelia.
Students on both days were a credit to the school and showed members of the public at the castle our core values of respect, ambition and determination – in particular when we had to climb up so many stairs! Miss Kinnon, Head of History, commented: “It was fantastic to take so many of our Year 7 students to such an interesting and historic site. I was so impressed at their respectful behaviour and hope they all had a brilliant time.”
By A. Kinnon