The Best Castles in Kent, England

Best English Castles Rochester Castle

Kent, the county on England’s coast, has a rich and varied scenery, that stems from bustling cities and large market towns to a string of vineyards and breweries, all the way to an enchanting selection of historic castles, that each brings with them their own unique heritage and charm. Here are the best castles to visit in Kent:

8 Beautiful castles to visit in Kent

1. Leeds Castle

Located just a stone’s throw away fρομ the hustle and bustle of Maidstone in Kent, lies the gorgeous Leeds Castle; the origins of the site date back to 1119, where an original stronghold existed, however, over the centuries, this castle has changed shape, particularly throughout the Middle Ages, and the early 16th century, where the wife of Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon resided.

In recent times, this castle is well known for being a filming location for several films, such as ‘The Moonraker’ and ‘Waltz of the Toreadors’.

Where: Leeds

When: 1119

Style: Tudor

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

2. Tonbridge Castle

Tonbridge Castle is situated in the market town of Tonbridge in Kent, and has a wonderfully fascinating heritage; it dates back to the Norman Conquest of England, where Richard Fitz Gilbert constructed a motte and bailey castle after being granted land, with the intention of guarding the crossing of the River Medway.

At the end of the 13th century, a stone castle replaced the earlier one. In recent history, Tonbridge Castle is owned by the local council, and it now functions as offices; it is surrounded by lots of land and makes for a relaxing day out.

Where: Tonbridge

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

3. Hever Castle & Gardens

The famous Hever Castle and its surrounding gardens, situated in the picturesque village of Hever in Kent, are incredibly beautiful, and have a longstanding association with Anne Boleyn and King Henry Viii; her father, Thomas Boleyn, had inherited Hever Castle in the year 1505, after the death of his father, Sir William Boleyn.

Anne Boleyn spent her early childhood at Hever Castle, and it, therefore, attracts tourists from around the world, who wish to understand her life in greater depth. The castle and its surrounding gardens are all open to the public.

Where: Hever

When: 13th century

Style: Tudor

Open for visit: 9:00am – 18:00pm

4. Rochester Castle

Best English Castles Rochester Castle

Perched upon the banks of the River Medway in the historic town of Rochester in Kent, lies the fantastic Rochester Castle. The early history of this castle dates back to the aftermath of the Norman Conquest of England, and it saw an immense amount of military action during this point and was at the centre of several critical military battles and conflicts.

Over the centuries, the castle was partially destroyed on several occasions, only to be rebuilt again in the contemporary style of the time, which gives it a really unique façade. Today, the castle is a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Monument and is open to the general public.

Where: Rochester

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

You might also want to check: The best Norman castles in England

5. Upnor Castle

Best castles near London-Upnor-Castle

Situated upon the west bank of the River Medway in the county of Kent, lies the historic and fascinating Elizabethan artillery for, Upnor Castle. Commissioned in the year 1559 upon the decree of Queen Elizabeth I, the castle was constructed to defend the region, and to control the river; its original function was to protect the dockyard and ships of the Royal Navy.

Its only major action was during the Dutch Raid on the Medway during 1667, whereby it was heavily damaged. Today, the castle and its surrounding grounds are open to the general public, and it is a fascinating way to learn about the history of the area.

Where: Upnor

When: 1559

Style: Elizabethan

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:30pm

6. Severndroog Castle

Castles near London-Severndroog-Castle

In the heart of the Royal Borough of Greenwich in the South East of London, just a stone’s throw away from Kent lies the Severndroog Castle; designed by the famous architect Richard Jupp in the year 1784, Severndroog Castle was constructed as a commemorative piece for Commodore Sir William James, who destroyed the Suvarnadurg fortress, before passing away in 1783.

The folly castle, which is a small, decorative structure, is built in the Gothic architectural style and has traditional hexagonal turrets at its four corners. It is a grade II listed building and is open to the general public.

Where: Greenwich

When: 18th century

Style: Gothic

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

7. Eynsford Castle

Best castles near London-Eynsford-Castle

Situated in Eynsford in Kent, lies the brilliant and historic Eynsford Castle. Originally built upon the site on an early Anglo-Saxon stone fortification, Eynsford Castle is believed to have been constructed between the years 1085 and 1087, with the intention of protecting the lands of Lanfranc from Odo, who was the Bishop of Bayeux.

In the year 1130, the defence system of the castle was heavily improved, bringing with it a large stone hall that was built within the inner bailey.

Unfortunately, the castle fell into ruin during the 18th century, and it was merely used as stables. However, work began on restoration in 1897, and it is open to the public to this day.

Where: Eynsford

When: 11th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:30pm

8. Lullingstone Castle

Castles near London-Lullingstone-Castle

Scenically located in the sleepy and charming village of Lullingstone in the civil parish of Eynsford, in the county of Kent, lies the grand and impressive Lullingstone Castle; the origins of the castle date back to 1279, where it was acquired by Gregory de Rokesley, who was the long-standing Lord Mayor of London.

It stayed within this family for a number of generations, until it was sold to the Peche family. Over the centuries, the castle welcomed many visitors of noble and royal descent, such as Henry VIII and Queen Anne, who regularly came and visited Lullingstone Castle.

In more recent times, the castle was occupied by the Army in the Second World War, before being renovated into a public park in the 1960s; today, it is open to the public.

Where: Lullingstone

When: 1279

Style: Elizabethan

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

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