~ History ~
1066 - The Leybourne ancestors arrive in England with William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. They are granted lands in Yorkshire. Their descendent, Sir Philip Libourne, decides to live in a village in Kent called Lillieburn. The names later mix to call the place Leybourne. He builds Leybourne castle and becomes the first baron of Leybourne, under his new name Sir Philip Baron de Leybourne.
1270 - Sir Roger de Leybourne is good friends with Prince Edward, the future Edward I, who set sail on crusade together. On the way Roger is so ill he is sent back home, only to die in France before ever reaching Leybourne.
1286 - King Edward I and his Queen Eleanor of Castille visit Sir William de Leybourne at his castle. He becomes the first Englishman to be awarded the title of admiral. They leave two crowns which still hang above a wooden plaque today.
Castle Way, Leybourne, West of Maidstone
A228 off M20
The ruins of Leybourne Castle consist of the remnants of a gatehouse and part of a round angle tower dating from around 1275. The gatehouse has been partly incorporated into a 16th century house rebuilt in 1930. Portcullis grooves are clearly visible as well as a low wall connecting to outbuildings. The curtain wall was never fully completed until the 18th century. Traces of a circular earthwork enclosure is visible.
Access to Leybourne castle is not possible as its a Private Residence.
Therefore our visit to the castle consistent of restricted views from the roadside and via the church grounds next to the castle grounds.