Leeds castle is named after its first owner Leed or Ledian who was the Chief Minister of the King of Kent. He constructed a wooden stronghold on the two small islands in a lake formed by the River Len.
A Norman castle constructed on the site in the 12th century was given to Edward I in 1278 . He carried out major alterations, building a set of outer walls, a barbican and D-shaped tower on the smaller of the two islands. This tower known as the 'gloriette' was extensively altered during the Tudor period.
Henry VIII was fond of the castle and visited it on many occasions. The castle passed from royal hands in 1552 when it was given to Sir Anthony St Ledger by Edward VI. The castle has been continuously inhabited since then and its present appearance is the result of centuries of rebuilding and improvements.
The garden and 500 acres of parkland was designed by Capability Brown.
Much of the castle was restored in the 19th century.
The castle, reflected in its lake, is often considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in England.
All year. Closed 8-9th Nov and Christmas Day 2008. Castle closed 3rd Jul. Apr-September: daily 10:00-19:00 last entry 17:00, castle 10:30-18:00 last entry 17:30; Oct-March 09: 10:00-17:00 daily last entry 15:00 Castle 10:30-16:00 last entry 15:30.
Tel: 01622 765400 Leeds Castle Website