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The village wanders up a hill from the church which has a curiously squat tower. The castle, however, has long enjoyed the reputation of being the loveliest castle in all Europe and now that it is, late in life, open to the public at last, the justice of that reputation is appreciated by thousands of visitors every year.


Whether you are looking for relaxation and the chance to unwind or for something more active including great hand's on fun for the younger family members then Kent is the place for you. With many award winning attractions featured together with the best known places to visit and many smaller less well known attractions.
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
Leeds Shopping Nearby
There are hundreds of independent retailers situated in the Kent, offering an array of worldwide brands to locally sourced products. Each and every one of them offer a customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Leeds Directory
Leeds Village
Probably throughout history Leeds village has been very much overshadowed by the castle. Once the castle would have shared the local limelight the abbey, but that was one of the victims of Henry VIII's sweeping Reformation and is only remembered now by Abbey Farm. In 1846 the complete foundations of the abbey church were uncovered, including the crypt. They are still there, covered up again for safekeeping.
Dining Near Leeds
Whether you want to relax over a cappuccino, enjoy a light lunch, have a fun family meal or indulge in a taste sensation, Kent caters for every occasion.
customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Leeds Directory
Best known for its castle, but an attractive village in its own right. The church of St Nicholas has Saxon work, a massive early Norman tower and contains a fine 15th century rood screen. From the church the road dips, twists and climbs through the village passing attractive cottages, timber framed houses and oasts. The original wooded castle was built by Saxons, but it was rebuilt in stone in 1119 by Rober de Crevecoeur. The population here is over 750.

Leeds Castle has been the home of kings, queens and noblemen for almost all its history, and for three hundred years during which it enjoyed the status of 'The Ladies' Castle' it was home to no fewer than eight of England's medieval queens. Its last private owner was Lady Baillie, daughter of Almeric Paget, Lord Queenborough, whose grandfather commanded the British cavalry at Waterloo. It was Olive Baillie who restored the castle and its grounds to their present condition and then bequeathed the lot to the nation to be administered by the trustees of the Leeds Castle Foundation.

The castle is a romantic building, and a perfect setting, floodlit and reflected with mirrored clarity in the still water of its artificial lake, for the open-air concerts, ballet and other performances that are held there now. It is entirely appropriate and seemingly inevitable that there should be several love-stories told about its historical occupants.

The first queen to own the castle was Eleanor of Castile, first wife of Edward I, whose life she saved after he was assassinated with a poisoned dagger whilst crusading at Acre. When she died, her grieving husband had her body brought to London and had every place where her bier rested along the way marked with a stone Eleanor cross, the last one being the Charing Cross.

When Henry V's widow Catherine of Valois, came to live at Leeds, she fell in love with and secretly married he Clerk of the Wardrobe, a young Welshman called Owen Tudor, who founded the Tudor dynasty that gave England Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Henry and Anne Boleyn came to Leeds Castle in those happy days before her failure to give England a male heir to the throne lost her first whatever good name her marriage to the king had left her, and then her head.

It was love for the castle itself that made its last owner, Lady Baillie, spend so much time, money and energy on making sure she left the gem it is now to the county in which it is so beautifully set.

Leeds Castle was built for defence more than a thousand years ago and it seems it has lost none of its security in the intervening years. It was, at any rate, chosen in 1978 as a safer alternative to a London hotel fir the Middle East summit talks. Its moated fastness amid wide open lawns and countryside, with the M20 motorway putting London less than an hour away by car, made it a security chiefs' dream.

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Kent Towns & Villages
Kent Place Names
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If you have wandered through the Kent Downs whether on foot, by horse, bicycle or car will have, at one time or another, pondered over the meaning of place names of towns , villages or hamlets that we normally take for granted in our everyday lives. Places such as Pett Bottom, Bigbury and Bobbing conjure up all manner of intriguing images as to the activities of former inhabitants, while others such as Whatsole Street, Smersole or Hartlip appear completely baffling.
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
Kent Place Names
Kentish Dialect
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Modern Kentish dialect shares many features with other areas of south-east England (sometimes collectively called "Estuary English"). Other characteristic features are more localised. For instance some parts of Kent, particularly in the north west of the county, share many features with broader Cockney.

A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
Kentish Dialect
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