William the Conqueror used enforced Anglo-Saxon labour for work on the construction of Leeds Castle. The original wooden castle was replaced by a fortified stone castle in 1119. An important feature of Leeds Castle is its access to the River Len. Leeds Castle occupies three islands surrounded by an artificial lake. King Henry VIII converted Leeds Castle into a Royal Palace but retained the defences due to the possible risk of invasion from Spain or France.
LEEDS CASTLE, Kent. (Aerial view). First built in 1119. In 1278, the castle became a royal palace for Edward I and Eleanor of Castile, who added the successive gatehouse "defences of the barbican". It was later transformed by Henry VIII for Catherine of Aragon. The castle is now managed by the Leeds Castle Foundation.