Weddings Leeds Castle
03 Jun 2011
Weddings Leeds Castle
“The loveliest castle in the world” offers a choice of venues within the ornate, beautiful and romantic building and its grounds to create the ideal setting for a truly memorable wedding ceremony and celebrations.
The service offered is tailored to meet the couple and their families’ specific wishes and ensure that any wedding day is perfect.
The Library, Dining Room, Gatehouse and Maiden’s Tower are all licensed for civil marriage and partnership ceremonies.
A choice of impressive settings is also available for a reception, and when it comes to photographs, the ancient fortress is unrivalled for its spectacular scenery and backdrops. Considered to be one of the most romantic and historic buildings in England Leeds Castle is listed in the Doomsday Book and was passed into royal hands in 1278 when it became part of the Queen of England’s dowery.
Over the course of 150 years it was held by six medieval queens - Eleanor of Castile, Margaret of France, Isabella of France, Joan of Navarre, Anne of Bohemia and Catherine de Valois.
Henry IV retired their on account of the plague in London, and his second wife, Joan of Navarre, was imprisoned within its walls.
This connection gave rise to another name “Castle of Queens: Queen of Castles”
It was a favourite residence of the Royal Court of England in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
The wife of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, was tried for witchcraft. Dutch prisoners were confined there in 1666 and contrived to set fire to some of the buildings.
Queen Elizabeth I was imprisoned in Leeds for a short time before her coronation. Since being in private ownership the castle has been a garrison, prison, convalescent home and a family residence.
The castle occupies three islands surrounded by an artificial lake. The outermost island is referred to as the Barbican and is nearest to the shore of the lake and is accessed by three different causeways.
The castle itself consists of two huge buildings, which with a strong gatehouse and barbican, form four distinct forts, each capable of separate defence should any or one of them fall into enemy hands. Each of the three causeways has a drawbridge, gate and portcullis and lead to the smallest island or inner barbican. A fortified mill also contributes to its defences.
The castle is connected to the main island via a stone bridge, at the end of which stands the Constable’s Tower. A stone wall surrounds the island, the Maiden’s Tower and the Water Tower defend the south side of the island.
A two story building on arches now connects the main island with the Tower of the Gloriette, which has a curious old bell with the Virgin and Child, St. George and the Dragon, and the Crucifixion depicted on it, and an ancient clock.
The castle boasts magnificent gardens, offering continuous colour throughout the year. The stunning grounds offer spectacular scenery and backdrops for the most memorable wedding photographs.
Other attractions include internationally renowned aviaries which offer insight into the world of modern conservation and breeding programmes.
Swans glide on the moat, peacocks wander thorough the grounds and birds of prey soar through the air during their falconry displays.
A host of finishing touches to any wedding such as musical entertainment, stunning floral arrangements prepared by the castle’s florist, along with an extensive list of wines and champagnes from the castle’s very own Norman cellars are all offered.
And why not soar above it all on the big day with a VIP hot air balloon ride?