Leeds Castle, set in 500 acres of parkland in the midst of the Kent countryside, takes its name not from the city of Leeds but from its first owner, a man named Leed, or Ledian, who built himself a wooden castle in 857. The first stone castle was built in 1119 on an island in the lake, and was later rebuilt and extended by Edward I, who added a set of outer walls, a barbican and the 'gloriette', a D shaped tower built on the smallest of the two islands in the lake.
The castle was a royal residence for six of England's medieval queens and a palace of Henry VIII. Much of the castle was restored and rebuilt in the 19th century, and many of the lavishly decorated rooms are open to the public.
The castle grounds contain several gardens and many other attractions.
- Located just off Junction 8 of the M20, midway between London and the Channel Ports.
- Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL
- Open to the public. Admission fee.
- For further information visit www.leeds-castle.com
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