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Brief description of site

The remnants of this site were extensively examined by archaeologists in 1973-5 but the rest of the site has lain undisturbed for 200 years and is likely to have potential for further investigation. Despite the fact that the site is overgrown, the form of the land and the appearance of the lake can be appreciated especially during the winter months when there are no leaves on the trees. Some idea of the views across the lake can be imagined and, in particular, that from the north end of the lake south-westwards towards the pigeon houses (‘chapel’). There is no public access to the grounds.

Brief history of site

The buildings of the priory of Leeds were destroyed following the Dissolution in 1539 and a mansion house built on the site. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown is known to have worked there c.1765-72, redesigning the landscape for John Calcraft who also owned Ingress where Brown was carrying out work during the same period. The scheme resulted in the removal of the early C18 gardens of the Meredith Family, to be replaced by a typical Brownian landscape, parkland with a curving lake and woodland planted as boundaries and clumps. Known as Leeds Abbey, the mansion was, in turn, pulled down c.1790.

Location information:

Address: Upper Street, Leeds, Maidstone, ME17 1TL

Locality: Maidstone

Local Authorities:

Kent; Maidstone; Leeds

Historical County: Kent

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 188 Grid Ref: TQ821530
Latitude: 51.2471 Longitude: 0.607758

Key information:

Form of site: landscape park

Purpose of site: Agriculture and subsistence

Site first created: After 1119

Main period of development: Late 18th century

Survival: Part: ground/below ground level remains

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