Leeds Castle Timeline
Leeds Castle is situated on the River Len where it was built by built on two adjacent islands. The name Leeds originates from the name of a chief minister of King Ethelbert IV ( 856-860) called Ledian ( it is not associated with the city of Leeds! )
- The known History of Leeds Castle
- Information & Facts about Leeds Castle
- When was this Medieval Castle built?
- The Design, Layout and Architecture of the famous Leeds Castle
- From Castle to a Royal Palace!
Interesting facts and Information about Leeds Castle
- The location of Leeds Castle - Maidstone, Kent, England
- Leeds Castle is located on 500 acres
- Leeds Castle now occupies three islands formed by an artificial lake
The Earls and owners of Leeds Castle passed through several great dynasties. The medieval castle was held by members of several families - the St Legers, the Culpepers and the Fairfaxes and the Wykeham Martins. It was purchased in 1926 by the Hon Mrs Wilson Filmer, Lady Baillie, who was an Anglo-American heiress. After her death, the castle was handed over to the Leeds Castle Foundation.
Description of the Edwardian Leeds castle
Leeds Castle consists of two huge piles of buildings which with a strong gate-house and barbican form four distinct forts, capable of separate defence should any one or other fall into the hands of an enemy. Three causeways, each with its drawbridge, gate, and portcullis, lead to the smallest island or inner barbican, a fortified mill contributing to the defences. A stone bridge connects this island with the main island. There stands the Constable's Tower, and a stone wall surrounds the island and within is the modern mansion. The Maiden's Tower and the Water Tower defend the island on the south. A two-storeyed building on arches now connects the main island with the Tower of the Gloriette, which has a curious old bell with the Virgin and Child, St. George and the Dragon, and the Crucifixion depicted on it, and an ancient clock.
The Gloriette at Leeds castle (the Ladys Castle) and the Queens of England
- The residential Gloriette was built by King Edward I in 1278. Queen Eleanor was the wife of Edward I
- Eleanor of Castile (1241 - 28 November 1290) was the first queen consort of Edward I of England
- The Gloriette was named in honour of Queen Eleanor and included a Great Hall
- The Gloriette was a residential D shaped tower built on the smallest of the two islands in the lake
- A Gloriette was a Medieval summerhouse, often in the woods near a castle often used by the ladies to take a meal while watching a hunt
- It became customary for the castle to become part of a queen’s dowry which was retained during widowhood
- The Medieval Queens of England thus associated with the castle and who were residents were:
- Queen Isabella
- Anne of Bohemia
- Joan of Navarre
- Catherine de Valois
- King Henry VIII transformed the castle into a Royal palace in honour of his first wife, Katherine of Aragon
- Queen Elizabeth I was imprisoned in Leeds for a short time before her coronation