Special tours for pre-booked groups are available on Tuesdays and Wednesday from October until mid - March . The tour begins with a talk about the restoration work, before visiting private areas of the Castle to see the recently revealed medieval Undercroft and the Great Kitchen . Please contact the Visitor office.
Castle of Queens.
In its long and fascinating history parts of Leeds castle were built in stone just after the Norman Conquest in 1066 - the castle has seen more than its fair share of drama and intrigue . The property of the crown until 1552, the Castle was fortified, enriched and cherished by a succession of kings and , in many cases, loved by their queens . From Edward I and Eleanor of castle. Henry V and catherine de Valois , through to Henry VIII and his first queen Catherine of Aragon -all have spent time within the walls and grounds of this splendid estate.
Queen of Castles
Moving out of royal ownership in the mid sixteenth century , the Castle was owned privately until the late twentieth century with the last owner . olive, Lady Baillie , destined to have a lasting effect on its future . Having purchased the estate as home for herself and her family in 1926, she then spent much of her life restoring the fabric and structure of the Castle to make it a home and a place of hospitality for leading politicians , diplomates , international royalty and film stars of the day of her
A lasting Legacy
Just before her death in 1974, Lady Baillie, created the Leads Castle Foundation -a private charitable trust established to maintain the castle in perpetuity and to ensure that Leeds was preserved not as stone museum but, in Lady Baillie's words as a" living castle" . Since 1976 just 25 years ago , the gates to the Castle and its glorious grounds and gardens have been open to welcome visitors from all over the worlds.
Leeds Castle Today
Leeds Castle is now open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Take time to visit the Castle and its garden stroll around the moat, the aviary the maze and grotto, play a round of golf on the nine hole course , take a ride in our new hot air balloon or come to one of our famous special events and like Lady Baillie and many before her , you too might fall in love with " the loveliest castle in the world"
Leeds Castle is open all year , except on the days of our two open air classical concerts (30th June and 7th July 2001) and Christmas Day. Grounds open through out the year at 10 am with last admission March to Oct at 5pm, Nov to Feb 3pm. Grounds close two hours after last admission.
Today the palace is home to several members of the Royal Family: the state apartments , first opened by Queen Victoria in 1899 , and the Royal ceremonial Dress Collection are open to the public.
The State Apartments
The Peaceful royal retreat enjoys the tranquillity of Kensington Gardens and is renowned for its elegant grandeur and lavish interiors . See william Kent's fabulous trompe l'oeil ceiling and old Masters from the Royal Collection displayed in the beautifully restored King's Gallery highlights include the regal cupola room where Queen Victoria was baptised.
The palace's history is brought to life by multi-language sound guides which lead you around the State Apartments and reveal aneedotes of the monarchs who have lived in this most intimate of royal palaces
1 November - 28 February 10.00 last entry 16.00 open daily
The Churchill Exhibition.
An exhibition of Churchilliana , which includes manuscripts , painting , personal belongings, books ,photographs and letter. The core of the exhibition is the simple room where Winston Spencer Churchill was born on the 30th November1874.
The Palace and Gardens are open daily from 10.30a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (last admission 4.45p.m. ) from mid march to the end of October . The Park is open daily 9a.m. to 4.45p.m. throughout the year.
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