Kenilworth (kĕnˈəlwûrthˌ) [key], town (1991 pop. 16,782), Warwickshire, central England. A market town and bedroom community, it is famous for the ruins of Kenilworth Castle, celebrated in Sir Walter Scott's novel Kenilworth and founded c.1120 by Geoffrey de Clinton. In the 13th cent. the castle became the property of Simon de Montfort. In the castle's Great Hall, Edward II was forced to relinquish his crown in 1327. The castle then passed by marriage to John of Gaunt, who made many alterations in the buildings. It became royal property through John's son, Henry IV, until Queen Elizabeth I presented it to Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester. The castle was donated to the government in 1937. Also in Kenilworth are ruins of an Augustinian priory founded c.1122.
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