Like every other ancient castles in the world, the Leeds Castle situated at Kent, England, is one whose historical chronicles are worth reading about. Of course, the beauty of the Leeds Castle is one that surpasses what mere words can describe.

No wonder, it has been designated as the “loveliest castle in the world.” Surrounded by the calm waters of River Len, the magnificent monument sits embedded in an island east of the village, Leeds. Without mincing words, it is indeed a sight to behold. As gathered from the annals of history, the antecedent of the castle is such that predates the ancient Norman Conquest of England and the reign of the Saxon clan.

No wonder, it has been designated as the “loveliest castle in the world.” Surrounded by the calm waters of River Len, the magnificent monument sits embedded in an island east of the village, Leeds.

Aerial view of Leeds Castle (CC BY 2.0) by John D Fielding

Interestingly, the castle has also served as home to several queens of the medieval era in its lifetime. Eleanor of Castile; Phillipa, wife of Edward III; Catherine of Aragon, Joan of Navarre to mention a few have lived at one time or the other in the beautiful castle. This underscores why the castle is being often addressed as the “Castle of Queens.” It even served as a prison at some point in time and a hospital at another. However today, it is a remarkable tourist attraction.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Early History

The Leeds castle which stands as a grand antique today, tourists’ delight and a masterpiece location for filming used to be a wooden structure owned by a Saxon chief named “Led.”However, in 1119, the site was reconstructed and rebuilt in stone by Robert de Crevecoeur as a military post intended to serve as a stronghold against Norman intrusion into England. Subsequently, it was passed down as an inheritance among the family of De Crevecoeur until 1278 when it was bought by Eleanor of Castile, King Edward I’s queen, and it became the favorite residence of the duo.

Front view of the beautiful castle – 97198 at the English language Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The castle was besieged and seized in 1321 by the forces of Edward II from Margaret De Clarewho had denied Edward’s Queen, Isabella of France ingress into the castle. She’d instructed her archers to fire upon the queen killing six of her cohorts. After the death of Edward, it became the home of Isabella.

Maiden’s Tower, Leeds Castle” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by sermoa
Castle Grounds [Public Domain]

It had been passed down from one person to another. Those who have owned the castle include Richard II, Henry VIII in 1519, Robert Fair fax to mention a few. Lady Baillie, the last owner of the castle had handed the castle to the Leeds Castle Foundation in 1974 following her demise.

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Current Times

The beautiful castle presently serves as a tourist site. The Castle Maze, the Dog Collar Museum, the Culpeper Garden, the Woodland Garden, the Segway Tours, the Falconry View, the Go Ape tree top adventure to mention a few makes the castle irresistible to tourist. It boasted of over five hundred thousand tourist in 2015.

Leeds Castle, Rear View” (CC BY 2.0) by jimbowen0306
Drone view of the castle – Barbara van Cleve [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Also, mind blowing movies such as Kind Hearts and Coronets, Waltz of the Toreadors and the series, Doctor Who have been shot in the castle.

Scenic View pf the castle and its moat – Martin Pettitt [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Interestingly in recent times, it serves international peace purpose as it has been used as a ren de vouz for political accords and treaty signing. The Northern Ireland Peace Talk led by Tony Blair in 2004 is an apt instance.

Interesting Facts About Leeds Castle

  • The magnificent edifice stands on two islands in the lake called Lens. The scintillating effect of the lake beautifies the castle.
  • The castle has served as a hospital during the Second World War. During the Air strike on the city of Leeds in 1941, Lady Baillie, the owner at that time, had treated the commonwealth soldiers there.
  • There are twenty guest bedrooms at the castle; all embellished with antique decoration and furniture.
  • The castle presently houses the only dog collar museum in Britain. There are over 100 dog collars which had belonged to old royal hunting dogs on display.
  • Tourists can be trained to handle bed of prey within just five days at the castle. This happens at the Falcon display during summer.

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