Pictures of England


Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Ingress Abbey


in the county of Kent

Light on the water 2


in the county of Devon

Hugh Town at early evening.

Hugh Town

in the county of Isles of Scilly

Pictures of Leeds Castle

a Castle in the town of Maidstone, in the county of Kent

About Leeds Castle

Listed in the Domesday Book, this castle has been a Norman stronghold, a royal residence for six of England's medieval queens, a palace of Henry VIII, and a retreat for the powerful and influential.

Step back in time with the Leeds Castle movie for a glimpse at the Castle's illustrious past or come right up to date with a look at the attractions within the 500 acres of glorious grounds surrounding the castle and its moat. The aviary is home to over 100 species of endangered birds while the Museum on the Castle Island features a collection of a very different kind - dog collars dating back to the sixteenth century.

Described as the 'loveliest castle in the world', Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent, was originally the site of a manor of the Royal Saxon Family. A Norman stronghold, the castle became a Royal palace, and was for 300 years the home of Kings and Queens of England. Restored to its current glory by Olive, Lady Baillie, the last private owner, Leeds Castle has been open to the public since 1976.

The castle has a history framed in romance and intrigue, conflict and majesty. Edward I, Edward III, Richard II and Henry V all held court at Leeds Castle.

Henry VIII, perhaps the most famous of all Royal owners, was responsible for much of the castle's splendour, and he spent lavishly to transform the castle from a rugged fortress into a Royal palace. The Henry VIII Banqueting Hall bears testament to this reconstruction, and contains features dating from 1517.

The castle, surrounded by a lake, is a treasure house of art, antiques and objects d'art to bewitch the most enthusiastic lover of history. For instance, The Queen's Bedroom and Bathroom are reconstructions of the chambers used by Catherine de Valois, wife of Henry V, who stayed at Leeds Castle on many occasions. Some of the later rooms, like the Yellow Drawing Room and Thorpe Hall Drawing Room, give visitors an impression of how the castle looked when Lady Baillie lived here. Lady Baillie bought Leeds Castle in 1926, and devoted almost half a century to restoring its fabric and furnishings, leaving her much-loved home to the nation in perpetuity in 1974.

Today, the castle and its 500 acres of beautiful parkland are run by the Leeds Castle Foundation, a charitable trust.

Apart from the castle itself, there's plenty for visitors to see and do, such as the Dog Collar Museum, a unique collection of antique dog collars; the puzzling yew Maze, with a magnificent underground Grotto at its heart; an Aviary which, through its breeding programme, promotes public awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation; and a choice of wonderful woodland walks and gardens such as the traditional English Culpeper Garden, full of old fashioned flowers and fragrance, and the Mediterranean-style Lady Baillie Garden, plus a Vineyard, first listed in the Domesday Book.

An enchanting place to visit whatever the season, Leeds Castle hosts a full calendar of special events including Open Air Concerts, Food and Wine Festival, Balloon and Vintage Car Weekend and Grand Firework Spectacular. The unique setting also makes it a perfect setting for conference, banquets and weddings.

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