The magnificent Leeds Castle near Maidstone is located in the village of the same name, between Folkestone and London, easily accessible from the M20 (exit number 8, with well-marked tourist sign) of the Channel Tunnel, which brings us to the capital.
Of ancient origin, founded in 857 and was also highlighted in the famous Book Doomesday built by William the Conqueror in 1086 to catalog all the buildings of the newly conquered England, became the stronghold in stone during the reign of his son Henry the First by a non- well identified Norman baron.
In 1282 Leeds was given to Edward I and was among the royal residences for the next three centuries, until the death of Henry VIII. He later became famous as the area belonged to families St.Leger, Culpeper and Fairfax to stay up for over a century in the hands of Wykeham Martin and finally being purchased in 1926 by Mrs. Wilson Filmer, erediteria rich Anglo-American, who later became the ‘Honourable Lady Baillie. After his death his arrangements which were made for the creation of the Leeds Castle Foundation, which now administers the castle and the huge park that surrounds it.
The great bulk of the manor, which occupies two islets surrounded by the waters of the artificial lake created damming the River Len in 1272, is a collection of styles from different eras: the ‘Gloriette’, the ancient tower of the thirteenth century (bridges corridors between the two islands and rebuilt in 1800 instead of the original wooden drawbridges) and the apartment building in neo-Gothic castle or again in 1820 and one residential block, the Maiden’s Tower, a late-Tudor exterior walls with support towers to ‘D’ of around 1280; lodge late Edwardian, all restored with added style during 1900, with the exception of the Barbican, with its three doors and mill, still now in ruins.
The set is definitely an impact, albeit now overly oriented to mass tourism, surrounded by golf courses, restaurants, shops, greenhouses, aviaries with exotic birds, mazes and gardens of all kinds.