TQ 836-532 Kent England
Leeds Castle was originally an early to mid 12th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress, founded by Crevecoeur family. In the 13th century the stone castle was founded, when a shell keep crowned the motte and a gatehouse defended the bailey. By 1272, the marshes around the castle were formed into an enormous lake, with the dam supporting a complex system of barbicans and sluices. In the late 13th century, King Edward I rebuilt the shell keep, to make the Gloriette and founded a concentric castle when adding a low curtain wall, flanked by D-shaped bastions. The moated castle consisted of a barbican, bailey and keep built on three islets connected to each other and the bank by drawbridges. Of the original stone castle, only the cellars at the north-east end of the bailey remain, the present buildings are from 1280 but have been enlarged and altered during the 13th, 14th and 15th century. Extensively rebuilt in 1822 by Fiennes Wykeham-Martin, the interiors were remodelled in the early to mid 20th century. 4 miles south-west is Sutton Valence Castle.
Leeds Castle is located east of Leeds, off Penfold Hill. 5 miles east of Maidstone, on the A20.
The site is owned by The Leeds Castle Foundation and is open daily, April to September 10:30-6:00pm last castle admission 4:00pm, October to March 10:30-5:00pm last castle admission 2:30pm, grounds open daily 10:00am.
There is a car park.