Leeds Castle buries 900 years of history
To commemorate its 900th Anniversary, Leeds Castle is inviting visitors to come along on the 25th June to witness HRH Princess Alexandra placing a time capsule on the Castle Island, only to be opened again in 100 years time at the Castle’s millennium.
The time capsule will be placed beside the sundial as a symbol of the passing of time; and in such a prominent place as to be easily found and remembered in 2119.
The hope is that the contents of the time capsule will give future generations a snapshot of life at the Castle as it is today. Among the items will be a set of current coins and stamps, an OS map showing the lay of the land in and around the Castle, a bottle of the special 900th Anniversary ‘Motte & Baillie’ gin and a raft of memorabilia and printed literature about the Castle.
Possibly the most intriguing entry is the ‘Then and Now’ album, which showcases a selection of images that reinterpret those of Castle staff, owners and friends found from 100 years ago and also the time of Lady Baillie. These photographs have been recreated with current members of Leeds Castle staff, including housekeepers and gardeners. The ‘Then and Now’ pictures will be exhibited on Castle Island during the 25th June for the public to view.
Also highlighted will be ‘a letter to the future’, written by the Chief Executive of Leeds Castle, Sir David Steel. Sir David writes about how “the loveliest castle in the world” has been sustained since Lady Baillie’s time, and how the estate has evolved. He ends with a parting message to Leeds Castle of the future saying; “We all hope that Leeds Castle and its estate has flourished over the intervening 100 years and that it remains a haven of peace and tranquility, but also of great excitement, away from the demands of modern living.”
The curatorial team at Leeds Castle have helped to prepare the contents of the time capsule that are printed, wrapped and packed carefully in conservation grade materials; and the maintenance team have created a chamber for the capsule to make it as waterproof as possible. This ensures that all the artifacts will be enjoyed in 100 years time.
The unveiling of the time capsule takes place in the afternoon of 25th June, on the same day as the official naming of the ‘Princess Alexandra Gardens’. These events are part of the Royal Garden Celebration Week and are included in admission to Leeds Castle.
Admission tickets to Leeds Castle cost £26 for adults; £24 for seniors and visitors with disabilities (carers goes free); £17.50 for children (under 4s free) and £70 for a Family ticket. Admission tickets are valid for 12 months so you can pay once and visit all year round. Book online for discounted tickets at: www.leeds-castle.com.
Leeds Castle is located near Maidstone in Kent just off Junction 8 of the M20 within easy reach of London. Grounds open at 10am daily and the Castle is open from 10.30am. Last admission is 4.30pm and gates close at 6pm from April to September, while last admission is 3.30pm and gates close at 5pm from October to March.