Rating: 8,1/10 (1393 votes)Leeds Castle is a castle in the city of Leeds, one of the most beautiful and romantic in the UK. The fairytale castle is located not far from London, on two islands on the Len River in Kent. The first fortress on this site was built in the middle of the 9th century by the nobleman Lydien, after whom the castle was named. In 1119, a stone structure was built on the same site by the Norman nobleman Robert de Krevker. In 1278 the castle passed to the English monarchy. Edward I completed it, giving it the look that appears before us today. For the next three centuries, the fairytale castle of Leeds was the seat of many medieval English queens. The most famous owner of Leeds Castle was King Henry VIII, who made significant changes. In particular, under Henry, numerous Tudor-style windows were added to the exterior of the castle. The castle consists of a complex of buildings. There is a gate tower at the entrance of the fort closest to the river bank. In the 12th century, the tower was used to house servants and horses; today it appears almost in its original form. A stone bridge, originally a wooden one, leads to the island where the castle stands. Nearby are the commandant's tower and the modern palace. To the south of this island there are more towers: two defensive towers, a water tower and a Maiden's tower. Leeds Castle, in addition to unique architecture, pristine royal interiors, family treasures, is known for the huge parkland surrounding it. The castle park has an aviary, a labyrinth, a vineyard and a grotto. In 1926, the wealthy American heiress Lady Olive Bailey bought the castle. She transformed its interior, largely recreating its medieval appearance, and established the Leeds Castle Foundation. Lady Bailey had the connections that allowed her to attract the best architects and art connoisseurs to work on the restoration of the castle. Since 1936, the French decorator Stephane Boudin joined the work, decorating most of the interior spaces and the park. The park was equipped with golf courses, a swimming pool and tennis courts. Since 1974, after the death of Lady Bailey, the castle has been sponsored by the Leeds Castle Charitable Foundation. Since 1976, the castle complex has been open to the public. The excursion includes a visit to the old Gloriet building, the unique collar museum, the Culpepper English garden and an aviary of exotic birds, forest gardens, a green labyrinth and a grotto. A 9-hole golf course is also open to visitors. Leeds hosts many celebrations, conferences, weddings, and various private gatherings.
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Topic: Leeds Castle in the UK, Leeds resort.