Kenilworth Abbey Advisory Committee

Kenilworth Abbey Advisory Committee:


Joanna Illingworth

Tree Tops

21 Manor Road



Tel: 01926 511183


About the Kenilworth Abbey Advisory Committee

The Kenilworth Abbey Advisory Committee (KAAC) was originally formed in 1974, after discussions between the Kenilworth History Society (subsequently KHAS) and the newly formed Warwick District Council, with the purpose of saving the Abbey Gatehouse from collapse. Restoration works on the Gatehouse were completed in 1977, thanks to the £20,000 raised by the KAAC under the chairmanship of Alfred Gardner FRIBA.

The Committee was reconstituted in 1987, with Harry Sunley as Chairman, with the immediate objective of reinstating the first floor in the Barn. This was accomplished in 1995 with £5,000 raised by the Committee. A constitution was adopted in 1996 and KAAC has continued to function ever since.

In 2003 all of Abbey Fields was designated by English Heritage as a Scheduled Monument, so the KAAC’s remit was extended to the whole area. In 2005 KAAC drew up and published a Conservation Plan for the whole of the Fields. This document can be read in Kenilworth Library, or purchased on CD-rom from the Chairman   (tel. 01926511183).  The KAAC has taken the first step to implement  the Plan by setting up the Harry Sunley Memorial Project, a Registered Charity (No. 1166561)whose objectives are “ the advancement of education for the public benefit by:

the preservation, enhancement and improved access to the existing buildings and the ruins

which form part of the historic “Tantara” Gatehouse of the Abbey of St Mary the Virgin, Kenilworth;

and the preservation and display of artefacts of the Kenilworth Abbey site.


Currently the Harry Sunley Memorial Project is raising funds for the installation of a mezzanine floor in the Gatehouse and associated storage and display units


Composition of the Committee:-

The Committee consists of representatives of stakeholders in the Abbey and its fields.   It meets two or three times a year to examine the state of the Scheduled Monument and make recommendations to Warwick District Council about its upkeep and enhancement. The Annual General Meeting at the beginning of the year is open to the public.

Warwick District Council (1 Councillor, and 3 Officers representing Conservation, Property Services and Arts/Heritage)

The Parochial Church Council (2 members/representatives)

Kenilworth Town Council (2 Councillors)

Friends of Abbey Fields (2 members)

The Kenilworth Civic Society (2 members)

Kenilworth History & Archaeology Society (2 members)

Historic England (formerly English Heritage) 1 official; usually the Inspector of Ancient Monuments responsible for the Site

An Archaeologist from Archaeology Warwickshire (WCC)

Co-opted members as needed.

c/o Joanna Illingworth
Tree Tops, 21 Manor Road
01926 511183