16th cen­tury van­dal­ism at cas­tle

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE -

Man­agers at Leeds Cas­tle have dis­cov­ered some 16th cen­tury van­dal­ism while re­fur­bish­ing a prop­erty on the es­tate.

The dis­cov­ery was made in Bat­tel Hall, a 14th cen­tury manor house in Leeds vil­lage, which has been turned into a wed­ding venue and high-end hol­i­day let af­ter a two-year ren­o­va­tion.

The rare “retable”, a sin­gle panel al­tar­piece, fea­tures seven painted saints but their faces had been crudely scratched out.

It is thought the an­cient van­dal­ism was car­ried out by 16th cen­tury re­form­ers.

The re­stored retable is now hang­ing in Leeds Cas­tle chapel, while the replica hangs in Bat­tel Hall.

The hall had been a fam­ily home and then stood empty for some years, be­fore plan­ning per­mis­sion was sought to con­vert it.

The pro­ject in­cluded be­spoke wall­pa­per in a design by Francesca Plow­den Design, who took in­spi­ra­tion from the colours, birds and flow­ers loved by the cas­tle’s last pri­vate owner, Lady Bail­lie.

The hall has ac­com­mo­da­tion for up to 14 peo­ple and is li­censed for wed­dings, in­side and out.

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