St Leonard's Tower
St Leonard's Tower
The very well preserved remains of a Norman tower keep. The keep was constructed around 1080, possibly by Gundulf, the Bishop of Rochester at that time. The tower takes its name from the fact that a church dedicated to St Leonard used to stand nearby.
The tower stands to a height of 65-70 feet, and is built of ragstone rubble. A stretch of stone wall associated with the tower stands to a considerable height, and there are obvious earthworks to be seen.

There is some confusion as to the purpose the tower was intended to serve; there is no obvious motte, unlike most Norman fortifications of that time, which might suggest a non-defensive purpose. This possibility is perhaps born out by the fact that there is a ground level entrance to the tower. It may have been a detached bell tower, although it would appear much too grand for such a purpose.

The tower is owned by English Heritage but managed by West Malling Parish Council. The exterior is accessible at any time, while the interior can only be viewed by appointment through English Heritage.