Maidstone in Kent, England, United Kingdom
Leeds Castle gets its name from the ancient Saxon manor of Esledes recorded on this site in the Domesday Book of 1086. Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, many manors in Kent were fortified to remind the local people and any future invaders of the strength of the nobility. Construction of the first stone castle on this site began in 1119 by Robert de Crèvecoeur, a descendant of one of William II's (c.1066 - 1100) knights. Despite its heavily fortified appearance, the castle was not built primarily for defence. It was twice besieged when its residents offended the king, in 1139 and 1321, but otherwise saw little military action. Its great beauty is not accidental. The area surrounding the castle was carefully designed and included raised viewing points from which the building could be seen at its best. The convenient position between the strategically important cities of London and Dover, as well as its proximity to good hunting lands, may have led to the castle's continued popularity after it passed into Royal hands.
In 1278 the castle was bought by Queen Eleanor of Castile (1241 - 1290), wife of King Edward I (1237 - 1307), and the basic shape of the castle you see today emerged. You are standing on the site of the Barbican, a fortified tower, designed to be the main entrance to the castle and a
The castle was owned by six medieval queens and remained in royal hands until Tudor times. It was then owned by related families: the Culpepers in the 17th century; the Fairfaxes in the 18th century; and the Wykeham Martins in the 19th century. In 1926 it was bought by an Anglo-American heiress, the Hon. Olive Wilson Filmer, later to become Lady Baillie (1899 - 1974). She undertook extensive renovations and used the castle as her country house, entertaining the rich and famous for nearly fifty years. She left the castle to a charitable trust that is now responsible for its preservation. It looks today mostly as it did in Lady Baillie's day.
( photo captions )
- The 13th century Mill, Barbican and Gatehouse
- Queen Eleanor of Castille
- The 2nd Lord Culpeper
- Catherine, Lady Fairfax
- Charles Wykeham Martin
- Lady Baillie
Location. 51° 14.899′ N, 0° 37.717′ E. Marker is in Maidstone, England, in Kent. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Ashford Road and Route B2163, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Located on the estate of Leeds Castle. Marker is in this post office area: Maidstone, England ME17 1PL, United Kingdom.
Other nearby markers. Main Castle Island (within shouting distance of this marker); Leeds Castle Alterations (about 150 meters away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Leeds Castle (about 180 meters away); Aragon the Dragon (approx. half a kilometer away); City of Rochester Upon Medway (approx. 17 kilometers away); Royal Marines Barracks (approx. 17.2 kilometers away); Coat of Arms of George III (approx. 17.5 kilometers away); The Royal Dockyard Anchor (approx. 17.5 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Maidstone.
Also see . . . Leeds Castle. (Submitted on January 10, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.)
Categories. • Forts, Castles •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 10, 2019. This page originally submitted on January 10, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 10, 2019, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.