Leeds Castle Summary
- Address: Maidstone, ME17 1PL (Map)
- Tel: +44 (0)1622 765400
- Fax: +44 (0)1622 735616
- Owner: Leeds Castle Foundation
- Administrator: Marketing Department
- E-mail: Click here to contact
- Website: Go to the Leeds Castle website
Leeds Castle Description
Shrouded in mist, mystery and legend, Leeds Castle rises from its own lake amidst one of England's most picturesque counties; the survivor of 1000 years emerges into the 21st century pre-eminent among the great buildings of the British Isles.
Originally a Saxon royal manor built in AD. 857, Leeds became the stone Castle of the Norman Crevecoeur family. From 1278 Leeds was a royal palace where Edward I built the unique fortified mill and barbican. Falling to Edward II's troops in 1321 because his Queen was refused admission, the Castle was never again besieged as its reputation for being a ladies Castle grew ever stronger. In its illustrious history, Leeds Castle has been the home of six medieval Queens of England and will no doubt be graced by many distinguished ladies in the centuries ahead.
Henry VIII enjoyed the Castle immensely and the many Tudor windows bear witness to his architectural improvements. It was from Leeds that Henry started for his momentous meeting at the Fields of the Cloth of Gold with Francis I of France in 1520, embarking at Dover - an event recalled by the magnificent paintings in the Banqueting Hall.
In 1926, Olive, later Lady Baillie, bought Leeds Castle from the Wykeham Martins, the previous owners, and totally transformed it internally. Employing two international interior designers, Armand-Albert Rateau and Stéphane Boudin, Leeds Castle is probably the world's most complete memorial to these men.
Lady Baillie filled her house with fine furniture, ceramics, tapestries and paintings, all of the highest quality - her collection of 18th Century Chinese porcelain is remarkable, with many pieces recalling her fondness for exotic birds.
Lady Baillie's achievements culminated in the most radical development at Leeds Castle in its long history; by her will, the Leeds Castle Foundation was created to maintain the Castle, garden and park for the enjoyment of visitors in perpetuity. For more information on visiting Leeds Castle, just view their very Website.
Wining and Dining
Leeds Castle is the ideal venue to celebrate any occasion, whether it's a special birthday, an anniversary or retirement dinner or even just a meal with friends and family.
With venues to accommodate between 10 - 200 people, they are never lost for suggestions to make an evening truly memorable.
As well as formal occasions, their experienced staff can organise private lunches for up to 50 people in summer or up to 90 during the winter - Christmas as you can imagine is something very special indeed at Leeds Castle.
Accommodation and Meetings / Conferences
All budgets can be catered for and they can offer you two residential conference centres. Within the Castle itself, they can accommodate 22 in single accommodation and up to 60 for a meeting or lunch with this number rising to 100 for the evening.
As well as 15 delightful bedrooms, all with direct dial telephones and televisions, the Culpeper Centre, situated across the moat from the Castle has meeting and dining facilities for up to 40 people. Popular for both training and sales meetings, the centre overlooks the lovely gardens and provides a tranquil yet stimulating setting away from the pressures of the City.
Opening Times - 2012:
- 1st April - 30th September: daily, 10 am - 6 pm, last ticket sold 4.30 pm
- 1st October - 31st March: daily, 10 am - 5 pm, last ticket sold 3 pm
- 1st April - 30th September: daily, 10 am - 5.30 pm
- 1st October - 31st March: daily, 10 am - 4 pm
Please Note - Closed: 14th July, 3rd & 4th November and Christmas Day
Special private tours for pre-booked groups by appointment
Admission Prices - 2012
Castle, Park & Gardens:
- Adult - £18.50
- Child - £11.00
- Seniors/Visitors with disabilities - £16.00
- Groups (15+) - £13.50
Every ticket (excluding special ticketed events) valid for one year.
Call for rates for visitors with disabilities
More information on the garden can be found on The Gardens Guide.
Events for Leeds Castle
- The Leeds Castle Open Air Classical Concert - 13 July 2013
Leeds Castle is once again host to the original and best open air classical concert. Picnic Tickets: £34; Seated Tickets £44 (Early booking rate, valid until 31 March). Picnic Tickets: £36; Seated Tickets £46 (prices valid from 1 April). VIP Hospitality & Accommodation Packages from £285 per person.
- Open Air Theatre: Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” - 25 July 2013 to 27 July 2013
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men revive the traditions of Elizabethan theatre, performing with an all-male cast.
- Open Air Cinema: “The Blues Brothers” - 06 September 2013
Luna Cinema presents an open air cinema screening of "The Blues Brothers" against the historic backdrop of the castle.
- Open Air Cinema: “Casablanca” - 07 September 2013
Luna Cinema presents an open air cinema screening of "Casablanca" against the historic backdrop of the castle.
- Go Walkies at Maidstone Fun Day - 15 September 2013
Join 'Go Walkies for Guide Dogs' as they go walkies on a 2.5km route through the upper parklands before spending the day soaking up the rest of the family fun day activities. The first Go Walkies will set off at 11am with another start at 2pm for those who want to come along later in the day. To register for the walk please visit the Go Walkies for Guide Dogs website.
- Halloween at Half Term - 26 October 2013 to 03 November 2013
Halloween themed activities for the family over Half Term.
- The Leeds Castle Fireworks Spectacular - 09 November 2013 to 10 November 2013
‘Fire’ themed music, projections and incredible fireworks over the castle.
Your Reviews of Leeds Castle
Tom Moore (09 July 2006)
Breathtaking! What makes this place wonderful is the grounds! The well kept grounds are a delight to any visitor, take a picnic and enjoy the gorgeous day.
Additional Info for Leeds Castle
- Open All Year
- Disabled Access
- Meals Available
- Live Entertainment
- Car Parking
Credit Cards Accepted
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