16th century vandalism at castle
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.