Leeds castle – home of queens. #atozchallenge

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Leeds Castle isn’t in Leeds. Nor is it anywhere near Yorkshire. It sits in the middle of Kent. The name of the castle originates from the Saxon chief who owned the land – Leed, who built a wooden structure. Then, like so many fortifications, it changed numerous times over the centuries. The castle turned to stone in the 1100s, changed hands among the Normans until Edward I bought it for his queen.

It seems the castle has been the choice of many a king for their wives: Eleanor of Castile, Ann of Bohemia and Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s first wife. At the time, 1519, Henry was enamoured of his wife, in later years he made a concerted and lengthy effort to divorce her.

After surviving the English Civil War, Leeds castle passed into new ownership and another rebuild. The castle as it stands looks like a Tudor design, but the facelift happened in 1823. Following a stream of private owners, the castle became the responsibility of a charitable trust who keep it maintained and open to the public.

leeds-castle-reflection(1)

Once upon a time, I lived in Kent. I visited the castle with my cousin and we sat upon the banks of the moat and admired the view. The sun shone, the sky blue and the castle was reflected in the still waters as a perfect mirror image. I don’t recollect the interior. It is the blending of stone and water that sticks in my memory.

The castle hosts a dog collar museum.  I definitely don’t remember that addition. Why dog collars, I don’t know, but I doubt it was the idea of the queens of England who once lived in its walls.

 

Dog collar collection at Leeds Castle, Kent. Picture by: www.matthewwalkerphotography.com

Dog collar collection at Leeds Castle, Kent. Picture by: http://www.matthewwalkerphotography.com

“Excuse me, your majesty, there’s a lady at the gate with a large box. She’s says it’s a gift and contains many precious items.”

“It’s not another present from Henry, is it?” Katherine rolled her eyes upwards. Her ladies in waiting tittered in unison.

The steward grimaced. “I would assume it isn’t.”

The queen waved a dismissive hand. “Whatever it is, put it in the cellar. Somebody will find a use for it. One day.”

 

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12 comments

  1. “Leeds Castle isn’t in Leeds.” Sounds like the sort of confusing thing that happens all the time on this side! Looks like a lovely spot, wherever it is.

    Like

    1. It doesn’t help that nobles like to pick titles of land no where near where they live. It’s very confusing. It is a romantic spot.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a lovely castle. I would like to visit one day.

    Like

    1. It’s beautiful and in good shape.

      Like

  3. I have been to Leeds several times – it’s only 20 mins down the road. The house is quite interesting, but I love the maze and the grotto 🙂
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    Like

    1. It’s been a long, long time since I visited and it’s the outside I remember. Must be lovely to live near it.

      Like

  4. I love castles! I jumped in on this one but am going to have to look at earlier ones. Fascinating some of the quirky stories that live along with the castle isn’t it? Maybe they were hunting dogs?

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    1. I gather they were a more recent donation. I pity the dogs who had to wear them. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Arlee Bird · · Reply

    What a spectacular castle! I like how it sits on the water and casts its reflection upon it. Cute closing aside with the dog collar collection speculation. It does seem like an odd collection for a museum.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

    Like

    1. It’s an odd collection and probably very valuable. A beautiful place to host it.

      Like

  6. Beautiful castle. And with a lot of history 🙂

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter – Jazz Age Jazz

    Like

    1. It’s a beautiful sight with the moat.

      Like

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