A man has died in the grounds of a historic castle after rocks were thrown at him while he was out walking.
The victim, who has not been identified, was killed at Lullingstone Castle in Eynsford, Kent, at 5.21pm yesterday. Police put up a cordon around the area and were questioning motorists as well as searching fields in the area.
Grammy Award-winning songwriter Victoria Horn who lives nearby said: ‘He was just out walking and they stoned him to death. This is where I walk my dog and now I’m really worried about taking him out.’
She added that there had been issues in the past with gangs of young people congregating in the area and has had to call police because of them going into her garden. On one occasion the cricket grounds keeper was threatened with a glass bottle. However, because it is a remote village with a chocolate box feel to it, she felt reports of anti-social behaviour were brushed off.
Following last night’s death, a witness said they saw armed police sweeping the area close to the 15th century castle and grounds. Attempts were made by officers to revive him using CPR but he was later declared dead at the scene.
One woman, who did not want to be named, said: ‘I came out and saw armed police running up the road. Other officers told me it was now a crime scene. Nothing like this has happened in the five or so years I have lived here.’
Kent Police said: ‘It was reported that rocks were being thrown. A man later died at the scene and officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate are investigating. Anyone with information is urged to contact Kent Police on 101, quoting 28-1127.’
Lullingstone Castle was built in 1497 and is a tourist attraction in the area, featuring a 15-acre lake and several gardens containing international plants.
The estate, near the famous Brands Hatch Circuit, has been owned by members of the same family since the 15th century.
The castle, which opens for three days per week during spring to autumn, has shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.