The earliest reference to Kenilworth occurs in the Domesday Book, of 1086, where we find that Kenilworth was a small settlement of about 100 villagers living in a clearing in the Forest of Arden, belonging to the Royal Manor of Stoneleigh.
Within the space of 40 years, for reasons that are unclear, Geoffrey de Clinton, Chamberlain to Henry I, determined to build what was to become possibly the most magnificent castle in England, in this obscure forest clearing. A local outcrop of good building stone would have been one factor for selecting this spot
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