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This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 15 April 2013

Leeds Castle

Leeds is a moated, medieval castle with 900 years of history situated between Dover and London.





  In 1278 the castle was bought by Queen Eleanor of Castile wife of Edward 1 and that's when the shape of the castle emerged as it is today. The castle was owned by 6 medieval Queens and was a palace used by Henry VIII . It was then owned by related families until it was bought by Lady Baillie in 1926. She undertook a massive refurbishment in the 1920s and 30s by the top European designers. It then became her weekend home for thenext 50 years where she entertained the rich and famous from Douglas Fairbanks to Errol Flynn and the crowned heads of Europe.

 

 
 
This is the original wall which formed part of the water mill 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is a view of the oldest part of the castle. 








Punting around the castle





The Norman wine cellar.







The castle is known for the numerous black swans which were a post war present to Sir Winston Churchill from the Australian government.

 


All the refurbishments were done in keeping with the medieval period but with the inclusions of mod cons which have been  hidden from view.
 

 
Medieval style bathroom









 
 
 
 
Henry VIII had this bay window put in so there would be more light in the hall.
 


Intricate carving on the ceiling beams.


The refurbishment of the floors has been done in the traditional way with dove tail joints.



In the grounds of the castle is a maze which is not as easy as it seems to find your way to the centre. Luckily there was someone standing on the hill in the middle directing those of us who could neither find our way to the middle or back out again.



30 comments:

  1. So beautiful and not that far away from me. Terrific selection of shots.

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  2. What a fantastic place and with such a history! It is so beautiful! Wonderful captures for the day!! Thanks for a terrific look at your world! I really enjoyed this!!

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  3. You know I have driven past the place but never visited, you have just given me a reason to visit.

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  4. Thank you for showing us this unqiue piece of history!! Photo joy my friend.

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  5. Oh! That first picture is gorgeous! These medieval are really amazing!

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  6. 900 years, huh? I see we have a little way to go to catch up downunder ... I thought your black swan must be a mistake until I read further - there's a couple of places left downunder where we can still see wild colonies of imported mute swans, but didn't realise some of ours had been gifted to you!

    The bathroom looks just like our camping bathroom - and probably works in much the same way!!

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  7. Beautiful captures and story!
    Love the first one... ;))
    Warm greetings from Holland,
    Anna

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  8. Wonderful that it is well taken care of. Must feel like traveling through time to visit such a place. Please have a good Tuesday.

    robert geiß

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  9. the place still had it´s beauty. Love the black swan. :)

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  10. It is a beautiful castle, the moat is cool. And the swan is beautiful. Wonderful photos. Have a happy week!

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  11. Interesting to see some of our Australian black swans at Leeds Castle .... It's a very majestic place with SO much history. I love the huge bay window which has certainly let light into the Hall.

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  12. such a gorgeous castle with a great sense of history.

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  13. Thanks for a great tour! I love castles. Does anyone live in it now?

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  14. The decoration is nicely restrained and so the building keeps its medieval feel. The dove tail floor joints are very impressive. I have never seen them used in a floor before.

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  15. Superb shots! A grand virtual tour! Thanks!

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  16. Wow - very interesting and cool. Thanks for sharing your photos and story.

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  17. That is an amazing place. The architectural details and the furnishings are splendid.

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  18. Wow - stunning shots indeed of this beautiful castle.

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  19. Wow ! that is really beautiful !

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  20. I have such fond memories and seeing Leeds castle again they all come rushing back! Wonderful!

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  21. It is situated so beautiful in the water and that view from the big window is amazing.

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  22. Not a bad pad for a weekender. It is good to see it is still cared for.

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  23. Oi! Your nicked one of our swans!!

    I never was really sure why Leeds Castle was not in Yorkshire!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS: My brother made an image of the same two buildings when he visited Perth last year - I only found out today! Have a look in the comments on the picture for a link!

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  24. That's a beautiful view! Thanks for sharing.Have a great day!

    Shantana

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  25. Beautiful! I LOVE castles and this one looks like a fascinating place to visit! I'll definitely have to keep it in mind. :o)

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  26. Imagine having this as your weekend getaway! Wonder what Lady Baillie's other house looked like. It looks like a good tour though, I'm glad they kept it looking medieval...these tours are a great way to learn history and what life was like.

    And by the way, mazes scare me! We walked one at some castle and I'd probably still be there if my husband hadn't come back for me.

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  27. This is such a great posting. Thanks so much for sharing ....it is something I am so interested in and never will see!! I love the old bath and how the old bedrooms were set up. It must feel so humbling to be able to walk in those walls of history.

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  28. What an amazing castle... Thanks so much for sharing this gorgeous place with us... I'm SO impressed... You are so fortunate to get to visit historical places like this... Wow!

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  29. Wow, that's quite some history! I love that the Leeds Castle has been refurbished in keeping with its history. What a treat to be able to wonder around and enjoy the workmanship of beauty of such a place.

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