Colliss Sketchbook - Kenilworth Castle

Move your pointing device over the image to zoom to detail. If using a mouse click on the image to toggle zoom.
When in zoom mode use + or - keys to adjust level of image zoom.

Date:9th of August 1867


William Colliss (d.1926)

Ruins of Kenilworth Castle, Friday Aug 9. 1867

This drawing is from a portfolio containing 41 pages of sketches and watercolour paintings. It was bought by Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum at an auction held in Stratford-on-Avon on 28 February 2008.

The drawings were made by Mr William Colliss, an amateur artist, when he was staying in Royal Leamington Spa during a holiday in August 1867. Made at a time before photography was widely accessible, they offer a rare personal record of excursions in mid-Victorian Warwickshire.

A preface to the portfolio by Colliss shows that he and his wife stayed with her cousin at 30 Clarendon Street, Leamington. Colliss explains that the pictures were ‘original drawings done on the spot’ in pencil and then gone over in ink. The drawings include well established sights such as Warwick Castle, Kenilworth Castle, Guy’s Cliffe and Stratford-on-Avon. There are also a number showing villages such as Lillington, Milverton, Offchurch, Radford Semele and Whitnash.

Colliss does not say how he got to these places but many are within an hour’s walking distance of Leamington. The exceptions may have been his trips to Stratford-on-Avon and Kenilworth, both recently connected to Leamington by railway and accessible by coach.

The census records from 1861 and 1871 suggest that at the time of his holiday Colliss, although born in Bognor, Sussex, was living in Lambeth and working as a ‘Commercial Clerk to East India Agents’. He died in January 1926 at Freshwater, Isle of Wight.


The timeline shows resources around this location over a number of years.

Gate House, Kenilworth Castle
Gate House, Kenilworth Castle

Lieutenant Colonel John Gordon Gate House, Kenilworth Castle, 1820 Pencil and watercolour ...

Kenilworth Castle
Kenilworth Castle

Thomas Baker (1808-1864) Kenilworth Castle, 1838 Watercolour on paper 155mm x 200mm ...

Lord Leycester Tower, Kenilworth Castle
Lord Leycester Tower, Kenilworth Castle

Thomas Baker (1808-1864) Lord Leycester Tower, Kenilworth Castle, April 1862 Oil ...

Kenilworth Castle
Kenilworth Castle

Herbert Edward Cox (1870-1941) Kenilworth Castle, 1925 Watercolour on paper 240mm ...

View Location


Link to this resource

Donor ref:LEAMG : A1123.2008.30 (64/27860)

Source: Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

Copyright information: Copyrights to all resources are retained by the individual rights holders. They have kindly made their collections available for non-commercial private study & educational use. Re-distribution of resources in any form is only permitted subject to strict adherence to the usage guidelines.