eeds Castle in Kent occupies three islands formed by an artificial lake. The outermost island (Barbican) nearest the shore of the lake can be accessed by three different causeways. All the causeways were defended by a gatehouse with portcullis and drawbridge. The northern most causeway was further defended by a fortified mill. The central island of the three, and largest, is connected to the Barbican by a small bridge. It is defended by a gatehouse and 15 foot high walls that would have risen directly out of the water. Now a small strip of land surrounds the castle. The third and smallest island contains the oldest section of the castle called the Gloriette and dates back to around 1280 in the time of Edward. A two storey building on a bridge connects the outer two islands.
Edward was forced to lay siege to Leeds Castle after an incident involving his wife Queen Isabella. The Queen had wanted to stay at the castle while travelling to Canterbury but was refused entry by the owners wife. The owner of the castle, who was not there at the time, was Lord Badlesmere, a supporter of Lancaster. When Isabella's men tried to gain access to the castle, some of them were killed. On hearing of the problem, Edward took an army to the castle and after a week broke the siege. Several of the Marcher Lords began to march into England in support of Lord Badlesmere. They only got as far as Kingston-upon-Thames when the siege ended. Edward then had every excuse to engage the Marcher Lords in their act of rebellion. ¹
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Selection of references used:
1. The Plantagenet Chronicles, ISBN:1-85501-685-0
2. Caroline Bingham, The Life and Times of Edward II