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18.  John of Gaunt's State Chambers

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         The Great Chamber on the principle floor was also known as the ‘great chamber for the guard’ or the ‘White Hall’, and is part of the South Range, built by John of Gaunt in the 1390’s.   The chambers in the south range were progressively more private the nearer they were to Elizabeth’s personal apartments in Leicester’s Building.   The Presence Chamber was an audience chamber.    According to the historian E. H. Knowles, Robert Dudley raised these floor levels to provide seamless passage between the Great Hall and his new Building.   He also renovated these apartments, adding new stone to the inner court elevation.

         The Tower accommodated 2 floors of latrines, known as garderobes, above which were Gaunt’s private rooms.   Clothes were often stored near to a garderobe because the ammonia deterred moths, and thus ‘wardrobe’ was derived from this term.   The purpose of the ‘whispering door’ (2 doors with a common jamb) is unknown.   This feature was removed from Kenilworth Castle to be installed at Maxstoke Castle, where it can still be seen today.

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