256 Route 34. GUY'S CLIFFE From Oxford
On issuing from the interior we proceed to the Conservatory, which
contains the famous "Warwick Vase, found in Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli.
The beautiful "Park contains magnificent cedars and other trees.
An admirable "View of the castle is obtained from the bridge over
the Avon, a little way from the lodge. 'We can scarcely think the scene
real', says Hawthorne, 'so completely do those machicolated towers, the
long line of battlements, the massive buttresses, the high-windowed walls,
shape out our indistinct ideas of the antique time'. — The view is per¬
haps even better from an old mill, reached by the road descending
from the lodge to the river.
Warwick is a good centre for excursions, the most popular of
which are those to Kenilworth and Stratford, both reached either
by road or railway.
Route to Stratford, see p. 258. — To reach Kenilworth by railway we
join the L.N.W. line at Milverton or Leamington (see p. 254); the rail¬
way-station at Kenilworth is 3/4 M. from the castle.
From Warwick to Kenilworth, by road, 5M.; carr. with one horse
there and back 10s. 6d., with two horses 20s., including the driver's fee.
A pleasant round may be made by returning via. Stoneleigh Abbey and
Leamington (carr. for the round 17s. 6d., with two horses 25s.). — The road
leads to the N., and soon reaches (I74 M.) '"Guy's Clift'e, the seat of Lord
Algernon Percy, to which visitors are admitted in the absence of the family.
The name is derived from Guy, Earl of Warwick (see p. 255), whose
feats in slaying the Dun Cow and other monsters form part of English
legendary lore. On the river, a little below the house, is a cave in which
he is said to have lived as an anchorite after his return from the Holy
Land, daily receiving alms from the Countess Felice, who did not recognize
her husband in his disguise. At his death, however, he revealed himself
to her, and the two were buried together in the cave in Guy's Cliffe, Near
the cave is a small chapel, with an old and rude statue of Guy. The
house, to which a new wing in the Gothic style has been added, contains
some interesting paintings, including several by Bertie Greatheed, son of a
former owner of Guy's Cliffe, a highly-gifted young artist who died in 1801
at the age of 22. Mrs. Siddons lived at Guy's Cliffe for some time before
her marriage in 1773, as companion to the Lady Mary Greatheed of the
time. A curious feature is the caverns and chambers cut out of the rock
surrounding the court-yard. — A few yards down the road which diverges
to the right a little beyond the above-mentioned glade, by a picturesque
old mill said to be of Saxon date, a beautiful view of Guy's Cliffe House
is obtained. — About 74 M. farther on, to the left, is Blacklow Hill, on
which is a monument to Piers Gaveston, the unfortunate favourite of
Edward II,, who was slain here in 1312. — In 72 M. more we have a
pretty view, to the left, of Wootton Court. We soon reach O/2 M.) the
village of Leek Wootton.
About I72 M. farther on are the first houses of Kenilworth ('Abbey,
R. 4s., D. 3-5s.; King's Arms Inn, see below, R.. from 3s., D. 2s. 6d.;
The Limes Boarding House, Warwick Road, 21. 2s. per week), a small
straggling town with 4644 inhabitants. The castle is about 1 M. farther
on. The King's Arms Inn contains the room in which Walter Scott made
his first sketch of'Kenilworth'. 'Kenilworth Castle, one of the finest and
most extensive baronial ruins in England, was originally founded by
Geoffrey de Clinton, chamberlain of Henry I., about 1120. In the 13th
cent, it passed into the hands of Simon de Montfort, and was main¬
tained for six months by his son against the royal forces (1266). In 1362
Kenilworth came by marriage to John of Gaunt, who added largely to
it. The castle afterwards became royal property, and in 1563 was pre¬
sented by Queen Elizabeth to her favourite, the Earl of Leicester. Lei¬
cester spent enormous sums of money in enlarging and improving the
building, and in 1575 entertained his royal patroness here in the magnificent
style immortalised by Scott. Cromwell gave the castle to some of his of¬
ficers, who demolished the stately pile for the sake of its materials and