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, the tower takes its name from a chapel of St Leonard which once stood nearby.
Very little is known about the history of the building or its intended purpose. 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.
Today visitors can explore the remains of the tower for themselves and enjoy the peaceful landscape that surrounds it.
Read more about the history of St Leonard's Tower.
Plan a Great Day Out
After exploring the site, head to Rochester Castle and take to the battlements of its imposing 12th century keep, the site of an epic siege in 1215.
Also nearby is Old Soar Manor, a small but complete section of a 13th century stone manor house.
End your day at Lullingstone Roman Villa and get a unique insight into Roman domestic life over three centuries. Play Roman board games, try on costumes and browse for a special souvenir in the gift shop.
English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.
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