Historic castles of south east england

Historic Castles Of South East England

South East England is an excellent sight seeing destination. It’s the home of more than 30 of England’s 100 beautiful castles. Historically, the south east of England was vulnerable to invasions and attacks from foreign shores, this lead to the construction of a large number of beautiful and sturdy castles. Because of the need to protect the area from foreign invasion, the castles in the south east are some of the most heavily fortified in all of England.

Herstmonceux Castle

Herstmonceux Castle features a number of unique and beautiful attractions, including a walled garden constructed in the 14th century. The castle sits on over 550 acres of gardens and parklands. It is both a romantic and powerful representation of renaissance Europe. It is possibly most famous for its elaborate moat, which is filled with water lilies.

The Herstmonceux Castle currently houses the Bader International Study Centre of Queen’s University, Canada.

Rochester Castle

Construction on Rochester Castle began in 1087AD. It is an excellent example of Normal Military Architecture and is one of just a few remaining structures of its kind. The keep, which was constructed around 1126 AD, is four stories tall. This is one of the tallest keeps in all of England. It partially extends over the Roman city wall, a unique feature of the castle. The Rochester Castle is also a popular location for concerts and festivals.

Unfortunately, in 1610 most of the castle was demolished. Today, only the keep and curtain walls remain standing. While the floor of the keep is no longer intact, there are a number of beautiful spiral staircases and stone passageways that are still accessible. Visitors can climb 34 metres to the top of the battlements for a spectacular view of the grounds and surrounding area.

Sissinghurst Castle

Sissinghurst was purchased in the 20th century by Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, two English aristocats. The castle is surrounded by some of England’s most famous and beautiful gardens. The layout of the gardens was designed by Nicolson and planted by Sackville-West. Another beautiful feature of the castle is the large number of wildflowers that bloom around it. They create a uniquely spectacular and colourful view. It is best to visit during the late afternoon when the natural beauty of the landscape can be best appreciated.

Guildford Castle

The Guildford Castle underwent extensive renovations in 2004 to increase its accessibility to visitors. These renovations included a new roof and floors. This castle is especially visitor friendly as it offers a number of models depicting the castle’s appearance in the 12th century. Educational videos are also available and trace the history of the castle from its original construction through the present day. Guildford Castle also features a gift shop and a large platform roof which is accessible to visitors and can provide an excellent view of the surrounding countryside.

The Guildford Museum is housed within the old gatehouse of the Guildford Castle. The museum is an archeological and local history museum, containing many interesting pieces. It also has a large collection of needlework dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Hever Castle

The Hever Castle is especially unique because it was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 and second wife of King Henry VIII. Unfortunately, due to a number of historical factors, the only portion of the original castle that remains is the gatehouse.

The castle is best known for its three mazes: the Yew Maze, the Splashing Water Maze, and the Tower Maze. The interior is fully furnished, which adds further beauty to Hever Castle. The castle also features a number of award winning gardens and a beautiful boating lake. A museum of torture devices is held within the castle, which is a particularly unique exhibit. It is also the home of a general history museum of the Kent Yeomanry.

Leeds Castle

The Leeds Castle is among the best preserved of all castles in South East England. Lady Baillie furnished the Leeds Castle with a number of beautiful tapestries, antiques, and paintings. The castle is also known for its picturesque beauty. With over 500 beautiful acres, it is an ideal location for picnics and long countryside walks. There are a number of attractions that make the Leeds Castle especially unique. These include open air concerts, hot air balloon rides, cafes, restaurants, and children’s play areas. It also holds a unique museum of old dog collars and a large moat.

The Leeds Castle is one of the most iconic in South East England. It has been added to and preserved since its original construction in 1119 AD.

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