St Leonard's Tower

St Leonard's Tower

St Leonard's Tower

This early and well-preserved example of a small free-standing Norman tower keep is located on a natural sandstone ledge near the head of a narrow valley. Rising almost to its original height, this mysterious survival takes its name from a chapel of St Leonard which once stood nearby.

Very little is known about the history of the building, including its intended function and even who commissioned the build; some believe that it once stood as part of a castle, constructed between 1077 and 1108 by Gundulf, Bishop of Rochester, while a second school of thought argues its builder to have been Bishop Odo of Bayeux, half brother of William the Conqueror.

Whatever the origins of the tower may have been, visitors to the site today can explore its remains for themselves, and enjoy the peaceful landscape - which includes the nearby Manor Park - that surrounds it.


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