St. Nicholas Church, situated in the grounds of the Norman and Gothic ruins of St Mary’s Abbey within the Abbey Fields, has been a place of peace and prayer for over 700 years. It is a Grade I listed building built with the instantly recognisable local red sandstone.
In 1291 St Nicholas Church was described as being in the patronage of the Prior of Kenilworth Priory. The Priory was founded in 1122 and raised to Abbey status around 1450 and stood to the south of the Church until its dissolution in 1538 by King Henry VIII. The Church has had several Royal worshippers over the centuries, most notably Queen Elizabeth I, who came to worship here while staying at Kenilworth Castle. The ornate West door of the church was said to have been created from stone from the Abbey by Robert Dudley to impress the Queen on her visit. The parish also has a silver-gilt chalice and cover made in 1568, suggesting that she attended Holy Communion at St Nicholas that year. She is known to have done so during her later stay at the castle on two Sundays in July 1575. King James I visited Kenilworth in 1616, when the church’s great doorway was “unsealed” for his ceremonial entry.
St. Nicholas’ Church appreciates different ways of gathering to worship and holds different styles of services to suit a very diverse community. Details are provided on our website.