Sir Walter Scott,
full of memorabilia relating to the famous writer
Conwy, Gwynedd, was built by a prosperous merchant in the 14th century; the
oldest remaining domestic
in town; furnishings reflect changes in styles and use since the seventeenth
Clackmannanshire, Scotland, is one of the largest tower houses in Scotland and dates from the 14th century. The Erskine family has owned it since around 1360 and the property is now being managed by the National Trust of Scotland in partnership with Clackmannanshire Council. The House still retains original medieval features such as the dungeon, first-floor well and magnificent oak roof timbers. Fully restored and furnished to a high standard, the Tower contains a unique collection of family portraits and silver on loan from the present Earl of Mar and Kellie. The eight-year restoration programme that recently received a Civic Trust award.
Northumberland, home of The Duke of Northumberland for 700 years, has a fine
Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, started as a Roman castle and the building on
that site started again in the 12th century, the Keep was built in 1170 in the
ownership of King Henry I. The Castle site was granted to Robert de Vipont in
1203, and the Castle passed to the
in 16th century for 400 years. Lady Anne Clifford, one of the greatest names
in the history of Westmoreland, undertook in the 17th century
of the Castle.
"Number One, London", The Wellington Museum, at London's Hyde Park Corner,
and built 1771-78, sold in 1817 to the first Duke of Wellington; a wonderful
collection of paintings (
Steen), porcelain, silver and gold, batons and swords.
Cheshire, is a most interesting stately home standing on the same site as the first house built by the family in 1469. The home of
Lord Ashbrook, the great great grandson of Rowland Egerton-Warburton, who built the present Hall between 1832 and 1842 as a classic example of the Victorian Jacobean style. The Emperor's Room is named after Prince Louis Napoleon, later Napoleon III, who slept here when he spent the winter of 1847-8 shooting on the estate. The room now houses part of the remarkable collection of water-colours done by Rowland's son, Piers Egerton-Warburton. The three centuries old gardens are amongst the finest in Britain.
Isle of Skye, is a ruin of a mansion house, not really a castle. The Macdonalds arrived on Skye in 15th century from the Southern Hebrides and stayed at Armadale from the 1650s. Flora MacDonald of Bonnie Prince Charlie fame was married here in 1750. The building of the mansion house was finished by in 1815, but much of it was destroyed by fire in 1855.
Armadale houses the Clan Donald centre and 'The Museum of the Isles' in some of the outbuildings with the exhition of the history of the Scottish Higlands. The Gardens have 40 acres of exotic trees, shrubs and flowers in its gardens dating from the 17th century.
Gorebridge, Lothian, Scotland, a Georgian Mansion and the home
of the Dundas family, who bought
the land in 1571. The present owner is Althea
Dundas-Bekker and the present house was
begun in 1726 and completed in the 1750's on the site of a previous tower house. The architect was William Adam
but the building was completed by his son John, brother of the more famous Robert. Arniston contains portraits of
the generations of the family from the 16th century up to the present day, by artists
including Henry Raeburn
and Allan Ramsay.
Sussex, an impeccable
traditional castle ; armouries, surrounding walls
Lancashire, was started in 1580's and large parts of it were rebuilt in 1600's. The first
owners were the Charnock family, and since then the ownership changed through four families until 1922,
when Reginald Tatton donated the Hall to the War Memorial Committee of Chorley, now the Chorley Borough
Council. The Great Hall with its plaster ceilings has always been the impressive focal point of Astley Hall.
Astley and its Art Gallery is often referred to as the 'Jewel in Chorley's crown' and features among the
Simon Jenkins book 'Britain's Best 1,000 Houses'. A visit to Astley Hall is like a voyage into the past,
to the time of Tudor and early Stuart England (1580-1650).
one of the finest 15th century manor houses
. An unusually
including 12 giant yew pyramids and a river flowing through
Shropshire, a great
mansion house built by Lord Berwick in 1785. Its fine Italian furniture, paintings and silver collection were brought to house in 19th
Century, when the 3rd Lord Berwick was a diplomat in Italy for 25 years. One of the great attractions of the house is the plasterwork
ceilings of highly decorative designs. The house is surrounded by a beautiful 500 acres parkland. The estate was handed to
the National Trust in 1947 after the death of 8th Lord Berwick.
a Jacobean mansion
with magnificent state rooms;
Fife, Scotland, was built in 14th century; the chapel was also built that time.
Still lived in by the family of the Laird.
West Dumbartonshire, Scotland, was first was built in 1238 by the Earl of Lennox and remained the family seat until approximately 1390. Nothing much is left of the moat and the mound where the original castle once stood remain. The present castle was built by John Buchanan in 1808 using the stone from the old castle. Built in the "castle-gothic" style, this listed building was designed firstly as a status symbol and residency and turrets and 'slitted' windows are purely decorative. The castle now houses a visitor centre, which has displays about local history and wildlife. The park is particularly attractive in the spring when the large numbers of rhododendrons and azaleas are in bloom.
Grampian, Scotland, beautifully situated by the River Dee was purchased in 1852
by Prince Albert to be the holiday home of the Royal Family and the present
castle was built 1853-55. The exhibition of paintings and works of art in the
open to the public
as well as the grounds and gardens.
Fife, Scotland, the
ruins of a 15th century tower
with the 1581 addition of a walled courtyard and gatehouse.
Northumberland, home of Lady Armstrong, dominates the North Sea coast; museum with many exhibits
The Banqueting House
was built in 1622, designed by Inigo Jones, as a part of the Palace of Whitehall. The Palace itself was destroyed by fire in 1698, but the Banqueting House was saved. The House has 9 magnificent ceiling paintings by Rubens
Benderloch, Argyll, Scotland, the 16th Century home of the Campbells of Barcaldine was built by Sir Duncan Campbell (Black Duncan) between 1591 and 1601. The castle saw some very unsettled times and was ruined by the mid 19th Century. In 1896 Sir Duncan Campbell 10th of Barcaldine repurchased the ruined Castle and spent 15 years restoring it for future heirs to enjoy. The present owner Roderick Campbell is now living in the castle with his family offering Argylls only ancient castle B&B accommodation (graded 4 stars by the Scottish Tourist Board).
which was built in 1634, became the
and his American wife Caroline (Carrie) in 1902 and remained their home until
his death in 1936. The rooms are still just like they used to be during
Kipling's time, and the house feels very much like a home, a very pleasant
place to visit. Beautiful garden and a water mill, Kipling's Rolls Royce in the
Hampshire, the home of
family since 1538, Gardens
National Motor Museum
with over 250 vehicles
a castle of
King Edward I, on Isle of Anglesey; a perfect example of a concentrically planned castle
Cheshire, was built, inspired by the great castles of the Holy Land, in 13th
century by Earl Ranulf of Chester,
on a craggy cliff
in the middle of Cheshire plain with magnificent open views to all directions;
deep well is over 100 metres
Lincolnshire, was the home of the Brownlow Cust family since it was built in 1685-88. In 1984 the house was given to the National Trust, but the principal family collections like silver, paintings, the complete library and the outstanding items of furniture remain in Belton. There are paintings by Titian, Reynolds, Romney, Lord Leighton, Boucher.
Leicestershire, was originally built the first time here in the 11th century, destroyed by two Civil Wars and a great fire in 1816, but has always been totally rebuilt. The Castle is at present own by the Duke of Rutland, and the Castle has belonged to his ancestors since the time of the Normans. The Castle has magnificent collections of ancient arms, fine furniture, outstanding paitings ("Henry VIII" by Holbein, Gainsborough, Poussin, Steen, Murillo) and a unique huge silver wine-cooler which weighs 1,979 ounces (56.1kg) and was made for the family in 1682.
The Queen's Royal Lancers Regimental Museum is in the Castle.
Yorkshire, a baroque
palace built in 1556,
National Portrait Gallery
Gloucestershire, after 850 years still remains the home of the Berkeley
family who gave name to various places from Berkeley
Square in London to Berkeley University in California;
a Norman fortress
with massive high walls contains treasures like paintings by English and Dutch masters,
tapestries, furniture, silver and porcelain.
castle was the scene of
the murder of King Edward II in 1327, and was in 1645 besieged by Cromwell's troops.
The castle is surrounded by lovely Elizabethan Gardens.
Herefordshire, was designed by Henry Holland, whose father-in-law 'Capability' Brown planned the beautiful park around the house. It was built 1778-81 for the owner Thomas Harley, who made a fortune supplying pay and clothing to the British Army in America and
became Lord Mayor of London in 1767 at the age of 37. The house has a neo-classical exterior with a central portico and a wide flight of steps rising to the entrance. The rooms contain a collection of French furniture.
Devon, was built in 14th century on the site of the ruined 11th C. castle while the Chapel was built in 6th C.
In 15th Century the Courtney family extended the castle, and later the Carew family lived there for two centuries. The castle was used as a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War, but later the buildings fell in disrepair. The castle was beautifully restored in the early 20th Century and is now used as venue for weddings, corporate events and functions.
The Bishop's Palace
Somerset, next to
Wells Cathedral, surrounded by the moat with water from the three springs, wells; bell-ringing
Bishop's Waltham Palace
Hampshire, remains of the moated medieval house of the Bishops of Winchester,
destroyed during the Civil War
Fife, Scotland, a
14th century stronghold
on a promontory in the Firth of Forth; film location for Hamlet
Perthshire, Scotland, the
ancient home of the Earls and Dukes of Atholl
since 1269; famous for the only remaining
in Europe - the Atholl Highlanders. Taking of photographs is allowed inside
this castle, which is a welcome change to the normal rules!
Oxfordshire, home of
Duke of Marlborough, birthplace of
Sir Winston Churchill,
the magnificent palace
and the unique park of
Norfolk; a 17th century red brick house with extensive garden; fine Jacobean
ceilings, furniture and collections
North Wales, was built on the site of an old farmhouse between 1830 and 1852
by Sir John Hay Williams. During the First World War the house was used as a
recuperation hospital. In 1920 the house and estate were finally sold by the Williams
family to Lowther College, a girls private school. The College was based at the Castle
until 1982 when it finally closed due to financial problems. In the 1980s the Castle
was purchased by the then Clwyd County Council and developed as a museum,
gallery and visitor attraction.
Bodelwyddan is now the Welsh home of
the National Portrait Gallery,
displaying works from its 19th century collection. To house these collections, the
interior was sympathetically restored to its Victorian splendour by
architect Roderick Gradidge.
Part of the castle has now been turned into luxury hotels.
Sussex, a former
military stronghold, uninhabited since the
Civil War; location for many movies
Derbyshire; in early 17th century Charles Cavendish had a country house built on the site of a Norman castle, and he wanted the house look like a castle, even though it was never meant to be used for any military purposes. The house was occupied during the Civil War in 1645 by the Parlamentary army who wanted to demolish the whole building and did much damage. After the war the Cavendish family wanted to repair the house, but due to the lack of funds the house was eventually abandoned and being plundered for building materials and furniture. After the WW2 the site was handed over to the Ministry of Works, and heavy engineering works were started to save the house, which was extensively restored by the 1990s.
Durham, has a look of an imposing and opulent French
of European art and antiques
Selkirk, Borders, Scotland; the estate was granted to the Douglas family in
1322 and reverted to the Crown in 1450 as a favourite hunting ground; in 1550
the Scott family became the owners and after a marriage in 1720 between the
Scotts and the Douglases the land was restored to the Douglas-Scott family.
The present owner is John, 9th Duke of Buccleuch; the present house was built
in 1812 with additions in 19th century; an excellent collection of paintings by
Gainsborough, Reynolds, Canaletto, Guardi, Van Dyck
Wiltshire, is the family home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Lansdowne and was
built in 1750s. A part of the old building had to be demolished in 1955, and the present
Georgian house by Robert Adam
has a splendid library, picture and sculpture galleries,
and special exhibition rooms with costumes, porcelain and various gifts from India from
the time the 5th Marquess was Viceroy of India in 1888-1894.
Grampian, Scotland, near the River Dee, was built in 1628 and rebuilt after the
fire of 1689; purchased by the Farquharson in 1732 and still owned by the
family. Largely rebuilt and garrisoned with English troops in 18th century.
Spiral stone staircase leading to the principle rooms;
Hampshire, an 18th Century mansion and parkland, once the home of the Palmerstons and the Mountbattens. One of England's most elegant stately homes, created by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown in 1767-80. For the visitor there is an exhibition and audiovisual on life of Lord Mountbatten. The house has a special place in the affections of British royalty. Both the Queen and Prince Philip and the Prince and Princess of Wales spent part of their honeymoons here.
Broadway, Worcestershire, an impressive folly tower built in 1797 at top of the 2nd highest point along the Cotswold escarpment. The height of the escarpment here is 1024 feet (312m).
Broadway Tower is surrounded by 35 acres (14 ha) of parkland and has a colourful history as - amongst others - home to the renowned printing press of Sir Thomas Phillips and country retreat for pre-Raphaelite artists, notably the artist, designer and writer William Morris.
Grampian, Scotland, near Nairn, a typical
, was partially burned in 1645 and
remodelled in 1730s with additions
of the present entrance hall and library in the 19th centuries. Fine
furniture, porcelain, paintings and unusual plaster ceilings. Famous for many
varietes of daffodils in Springtime.
Haworth, Yorkshire, the life long home of the Brontė family,
where Reverend Patrick Brontė's
and Anne wrote some of the greatest novels of the English language.
The house is now a museum showing the house as it was during the sisters' time.
Penrith, Cumbria, (pronounced '
'), was started in Henry II's reign on the site of a Roman fort,
and renovated in 17th century by
Lady Anne Clifford
, who died there in 1676; later the castle was partly demolished and any usable
materials were sold in 1714, but again
partly restored in 1930's
Banbury, Oxfordshire, for over 600 years the home of the family Fiennes -
Lord and Lady Saye and Sele; the
original Manor House was built in about 1300 and the
in the second part of the 16th century: location for a part of the movie 'Shakespeare In Love'.
London, the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns, was originally a town house
owned by the Dukes of Buckingham.
King George III bought
Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte and
Queen Victoria was the first sovereign to take up residence in July 1837. The Palace is furnished
with fine works of art from the Royal Collection
including paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt. The State Rooms are open to the public each year in
August and September, the Royal Mews
is open throughout the year.
The Queen's Gallery is open to the public.
the Roman Gariannonum,
of a Roman Fort from the 3rd century, built to defend the coast against Saxon
Stamford, Lincolnshire; one of the finest Elizabethan country houses, was built by William Burghley, later known as Lord Burghley, and the Burghley family still lives in the house. The house is full of priceless treasures of art from famous paintings (Veronese, Carlo Dolci, Joos van Cleve, Gainsborough, Pieter Brueghel Younger), tapestries, sculptures to wonderful ceilings by Antonio Verrio. The majority of the pieces of art were bought by John, the 5th Earl of Exeter and his wife Lady Anne Cavendish on their 'Grand Tour' in late 17th century.
Fife, Scotland, ruins of a
15th century keep
with a courtyard wall with a gate and a corner tower; once a stronghold of the
Balfours of Burleigh, and visited several times by James VI;
Burton Agnes Hall
Yorkshire, was started as Norman manorhouse in 1173 and has since then never changed hands by sale, but has passed from family to family when the male line has ended. It remains a 'lived-in' family home occupied by descendants of the Wickham-Boynton family. The present Elizabethian Hall contains treasures collected during four centuries - from original carvings to modern and Impressionist paintings.
Burton Constable Hall
Yorkshire, was built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and is the ancestral home of the Constable family, who have lived here since the house was first built. Many alterations were made to the house during the 18th century and the surrounding park was landscaped by 'Capability' Brown. Nearly 30 rooms are open to view, the interiors are filled with fine furniture, paintings and sculpture, a library of 5,000 books and an unusual 'cabinet of curiosities'.
Leominster, Herefordshire, was first mentioned as a manor house in 1331. The most notable of the Lords of the Manor of Burton were the Brewster (from mid 18th C. until 1865) and the Clowes families. In 1960 it was bought by the present owner, Lieut. Cdr. Robert Macaulay Simpson, for use as a residence and for a soft fruit growing enterprise. Burton Court has been used for private entertaining for 600 years and still is a popular venue for weddings and corporate events.
South Wales, the largest castle in Britain after Windsor, was built in 1268-1271 by the Anglo-Norman lord, Gilbert de Clare. Surrounded by an artificial lake it was a revolutionary masterpiece of military planning. The famous 10% leaning South-East Tower (it even out-leans the tower at Pisa) which is thought to be due to subsidence, not any military action.
Dumfries, Scotland, ruins of a fine example of a
triangular site stronghold
built by the Maxwell family, besieged by Edward I in 1300; dismantled and
redundant after the 1640 siege;
Gwynedd, a very fine
castle; setting for the Prince of Wales investiture
mansion, built in 1703, great collection of stuffed
birds; carriage display
Macclesfield, Cheshire, home of the Bromley-Davenport family and their
ancestors since Domesday times; the original Hall was designed by Smiths of
Warwick between 1719-1732, altered by Blore in 1837 and finally Salvin rebuilt
the centre after a disastrous fire in 1861; a fascinating collection of
paintings, sculptures and furniture, extensive park and gardens; in a beautiful
Georgian Chapel dating from 1719 services are still held.
Sutherland, Scotland, was built between 1906 and 1917 for the Dowager Duchess of Sutherland, the widow of 18th Earl of Sutherland, after a long dispute with the Duke's son about the Earl's legacy. In 1933, the castle was bought by Colonel Theodore Salvesen, the wealthy Scottish businessman of Norwegian extraction. Through Colonel Salvesen's consular connections he provided King Haakon VII of Norway and Crown Prince Olav (later King Olav V) with a safe refuge at Carbisdale during the Nazi occupation of Norway during World War II, and during that time the castle was the venue of an important meeting. Salvesen's son Captain Harold Salvesen inherited the castle and in 1945 he gifted the castle to the Scottish Youth Hostels Association as Carbisdale Castle Youth Hostel.
South Wales; this originally a Norman castle is one of the most magnificent castles of south Wales
in the flat land around the tidal Carew river. The Castle was greatly improved and extended in the beginning of 16th century to Elizabethan manor; partly destroyed during the Civil War and finally abandoned in 1686. Next to the Castle there is the Carew Tidal Mill also from the 16th century, even though the present building dates from the early 19th century.
Carlisle, Cumbria, was started by King William II in 1093, and rebuilt in stone
in 1157 by Henry II;
during 1173-1461 the castle was attacked nine times, and in 1568 Mary Queen of
Scots was held prisoner in the castle; in 1745 the Jacobite army of "Bonnie
Prince Charlie" took the castle on its way south. Great restoring work was done
in the 1800's. The castle has been in the hands of the military without break
for 800 years and is now also home to the museum of the Kings Own border
Regiment and the border Regiment.
South Wales, on a remote crag about 100 meters above the river Cennen in the Breacon Beacons National Park, was started in 13th century as an English outpost by one of Edward I's barons. The natural cave beneath the castle rock, perhaps a prehistoric refuge, is incorporated into the defenses via a gallery passage and can still be explored with torches.
During the War of the Roses (1455 - 85) it became a base for Lancastrian, who terrorized the country around. The castle was taken by the Yorkists in 1462, this "robbers den" was laboriously dismantled by 500 men with picks and crowbars. The ruins are still very impressive and the views from the hilltop are magnificent.
Ilam, Staffordshire. The site of Casterne Hall has been a dwelling since time immemorial and the present owners, the Hurts, came here in the late 1400s. It is a famously beautiful Grade II* manor house set in its own estate high above the Manifold Valley not far from Ashbourne. Casterne is hidden away from the rest of the world, and the only noise is that of the cattle and sheep, the owls at night and the occasional tractor.
Dollar, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; the 1st Earl of Argyll (the 2nd Lord Campbell) built in 15th C. this mighty, isolated four-storey rectangular tower house high in the hills above Dollar, 'Gloom Castle' as it was called. In 1489 the Earl persuaded James IV to give approval for changing the castle's name, and since that time it was called Castle Campbell and remained the principal residence of the Argyll Campbells for nearly 200 years. The castle was burned in 1654 by Cromwell, later the Earl was executed, and the Campbells abandoned their castle.
The castle came under the protection of the National Trust for Scotland in 1948.
nr. Exeter, Devon, is the 'last castle to be built in England', and was built entirely of granite in the 1910s and 1920s for Julius Drewe, a businessman, to designs by architect Edwin Lutyens. The style of the castle is mainly from the medieval and Tudor periods with conveniences quite modern during the time it was built. The castle also has a notable garden.
Yorkshire, built by
Sir John Vanbrugh
, the location of
, an impressive
and fabulous collection of art;
Weem, Perthshire, Scotland, is an excellent and large example of a Z-plan
fortified Tower House
with flanking towers at diagonally opposite corners and has been the seat of
the Chiefs of
for over 400 years. In spite of the present extensive restoration works the
castle is kept open to the public during the summer months;
Castle of Mey
Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, was built between 1566 and 1572 by the 4th Earl of Caithness. In
1952 Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother bought the place, which was in a state of neglect but was beautifully restored during the years.
.In 1996, she created a charitable trust, which took ownership of the castle and the estate, with the intention of securing their future. The Castle is now open to the public during certain summer months.
Moidart, Invernesshire, Scotland; the ruined castle, the ancestral home of the Macdonalds of Clanranald, is accessible only at low tide along a narrow sandy causeway. It is one of the foremost surviving examples of a 13th century castle in Scotland. The castle was destroyed in 1715 when Clan Chief Allan of Clanranald ordered it to be burnt, probably to prevent it falling into enemy hands when he left to fight for the Jacobite cause. The castle is now owned by a Scottish businessman who is hoping to conserve it through a Trust.
Highlands, Scotland, a late 14th century private fortress and a real fairy-tale
castle was built around a small living holly tree by the Thanes of Cawdor and
is still the home of the Cawdor family; the name of Cawdor was romantically
linked by Shakespeare with Macbeth.
Warwickshire, has been the home of the
Lucy family since 1247,
and the present house
was built in 1558.
was vigorously renovated in 1830s, and only the two-storey gatehouse remained untouched Elizabethan
being now a museum. A remarkable piece of furniture is the colossal 'Charlecote buffet',
carved by J.M.Willcox with figures of the resources of nature
and bought in 1858 for £1,600. The park was improved by 'Capability' Brown in the 1700s.
Kent, since 1922
Sir Winston Churchill's
home; a collection of his paintings
Derbyshire, the palace-like
Duke of Devonshire; was built in late 16th century by Elizabeth Hardwick, known as "Bess of Hardwick" and her 2nd husband William Cavendish; there are outstanding painted ceilings by Verrio and Laguerre, a library of over 17,000 volumes, old master paintings by Rembrandt, Hals, Van Dyck, Tintoretto, Veronese, Sargent and Landseer, a collection of neo-classical sculpture,
exceptionally fine garden. Chatsworth was voted the public's favourite house in 1996 and 1999.
Kathleen Kennedy, sister of the late President Kennedy, was married to 10th Duke's elder son William, who was killed in action in WW2 1944, and Kathleen died childless in an aeroplane accident in 1948 at the age of 28.
South Wales, a Norman castle, was started in 1067 by the Norman lord William Fitzosbern on cliffs over the River Wye.
During the 12th and 13th centuries the Castle was massively fortified to prepare the Castle for the Welsh wars. In the 14th Century it changed hands many times between the English and the Welsh. In the 16th century the buildings were adapted more comfortable, and came to resemble more a Great House than a Castle. After the English Civil War defences were "dismantled" and the Castle was allowed to decay and areas of it used for small industries. It was eventually passed over to the care of the State in 1953.
Kent, rebuilt into fantasy castle c. 1800, famous for its various collections:
Buddhistic objects, Egyptian antiquities, Japanese swords, Stuart and Jacobite
Alnwick, Northumberland, supposedly
Britain's Most Haunted Castle
, was already there in 1255 when King Henry III stayed there; in 1344 Sir
Thomas Grey was granted the Royal Licence to fortify the castle with stone; now
the home of Sir Humphrey Wakefield who is presently restoring the castle; fine
garden; interesting exhibitions
Clwyd, Wales, was founded about 1295 as a stronghold for Edward I's army
captain Roger Mortimer, thus becoming one of the great fortresses of Edward's
reign; it is of rectangular, concentric form with walls fifteen feet thick and
a massive drum tower at each corner; since 1595 the home of the Myddelton
conveyed to the National Trust
London, a fine
, built 1725; Italianate gardens with classical statues;
Surrey, a fine
Palladian country house
built in early 18th century,
park designed by Lancelot Brown; The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment Museum
, York, North Yorkshire, a 13th century keep on one of the two mottes which
were part of the fortifications started by William the Conqueror in 1068. Fine
views over the city from the top of the tower.
Clitheroe, Lancashire, the ruins of a Norman keep on a high limestone mound right in the
centre of the town of Clitheroe; the local historical and geological museum in
situated in the house next to the castle
Colchester Castle Museum
Essex, a Norman castle keep with a fine museum of Roman and medieval times
classical 13th century fortress
, a masterpiece of medieval architecture in perfect surroundings
impressive ruins of a castle which was built 1000 years ago, and had its best period
in the 13th and 14th centuries. In 1635
was bought by Sir John Bankes,
and as he was the supporter of the king castle was destroyed by the parliamentary forces
during the English civil war after a long siege in 1646. The Bankes later built a new house
at Kingston Lacy after the
Restoration. Enid Blyton in her "Famous Five" stories refer Corfe as "Kirrin Castle" - see the website of Viv Endecott!
Grampian, Scotland, was built about 1530 as a
in one of the
most wild and remote districts
of Scotland to protect its owners and their valuables; it was converted into
Hanoverian troops' barracks in 1748-50 and was returned to private hands in
1802 as a farmhouse having even a whisky distillery there; after WW1 the castle
became derelict and was given into State care in 1961 and was restored with
Alcester, Warwickshire, has been the home of the
since the 15th century and still is -
the present Tudor house
was built in the 16th century.
There are lots of memorabilia of the family in the house and an exhibition of the
which the house has a strong connection with.
Grampian, is another Scottish
fairy tale castle
with turrets and gargoyles, built in late16th century; the seat of the family of
Burnett of Leys
; fine furniture and painted ceiling; famous for its beautiful
on a cliff overlooking Cardigan Bay was built at the beginning of the 13th century. Originally a stronghold of the Welsh princes, Criccieth was later annexed and added to by the English monarch, Edward I. In 1404 Owain Glyndwr captured the castle, tearing down its walls and setting the castle afire, a scourging from which the castle never recovered.
10 miles SE of Edinburgh, was built in 13th century by Crichton family; in the
1580s the Earl of Boswell made lots of improvements transforming the medieval
castle into a remarkable Renaissance residence; Sir Walter Scott has described
the castle in his
; became ruins in 1659 when its masonry was due to financial difficulties of
the owner taken away for other building purposes;
Leominster, Herefordshire, is a 17th century stone quadrangular fortress, built close to the site of the old medieval castle. At each corner of the high curtain wall is a small round tower, with a small square tower flanking the north side. The Croft family have lived here since before the Norman invasion. It is thought that the Norman family de Croft came over during the time of Edward the Confessor, and by the time of Domesday, a Bernard de Croft held the land. although now run by the National Trust, members of the Croft family still live in the castle and on the estate, thus continuing the ancient family association.
Croft was re-opened to the public in April 2003 after a year long facelift.
Strathclyde, Scotland, a
of the Kennedy family includes a
Penrith, Cumbria, home of the Hasell family for over three centuries; the house
was started in 12th century as a pele-tower, the early Georgian front and the
elegant rooms were completed about 1750;
with military relics and mementoes
Kent, one of the Cinque Ports, was built in 1539 in the shape of the Tudor rose with six petals. It was one of a chain of coastal artillery forts constructed by Henry VIII against a feared invasion by the Catholic powers of Europe. The coast of Deal was considered to be especially vulnerable being near to mainland Europe and having its long shingle beach with easy landing. The castle, surrounded by a deep moat, once had 119 guns and inside its walls it is a maze of long, dark passages, battlements and a huge basement.
Denbighshire, North Wales, was built over the stronghold of Dafydd ap Gruffudd, the Welsh leader crushed by Edward in 1282. as part of Edward I's campaigns against the Welsh. The building created not only a castle but a new English borough protected by town walls. After the restoration of King Charles II (1660-85) the castle and town walls were allowed to fall into ruin and became a ready source of house-building material. In 19th century a 'Castle Committee' was formed to keep the ruins in repair and clearance work was done.
of a romantic castle; destroyed in 1650; fine gardens
, North Wales, was built in early 13th century as an important stronghold against the English troups, and its capture on 18 January 1283 was a turning point of the Edwardian campaign. The English maintained a military presence here until 1290. The castle was occupied again in the 15th century, when it was leased to Maredudd ap Ieuan, a local nobleman, who added an upper storey to the keep. In the middle of the 19th century it was extensively restored by the public-spirited Lord Willoughby de Eresby. Dolwyddelan, like most of the castles of the native Welsh princes, is set amidst spectacular scenery. The castle guards a mountain pass through the Vale of Conwy, and it's the beauty of the surrounding countryside that visitors first notice.
Dornoch, Sutherland, Scotland, was built in 13th C. by the Bishops of Caithness close to the cathedral as a Bishop's palace, not really a fortress, but a comfortable residence. The castle was severely damaged by fire in 1570 and was left as a ruin, until it was restored in the 19th century to make a residence for the Sheriff of Sutherland. In 1970, a southeast wing was added when the castle was bought and made into a hotel, which it is today. Dornoch is famous of its exellent golf-course.
Doune, Stirlingshire, Scotland, was built in the late 14th C. by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. The castle looks very strong and powerful. The dark stone rises to a high of 30 metres at the gate-tower and the high courtyard walls were protected by wall walks allowing defenders to drop material onto attackers from the walls. Doune was last use during the 1745 Jacobite Rising, after which it fell out of use and by the end of the 18th century it was roofless and falling into ruin. In 1883 the 14th Earl of Moray carried out a restoration, and more repairs were done in the 1970's, but it is still one of the least changed castles in Scotland. Doune is perhaps best known as the castle in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Cumbria, Lake District
Kent, was built on the
in 12th century; a view across the Channel; one of the largest castles in the country
Kent, was built in the early 18th century. Charles Darwin (1809-82) bought the house in 1842 and lived there until his
death with his wife Emma and ten children. Situated in the rural Kent village of Downe, the house offered all the peace and
privacy that Darwin needed to work, The ground-floor rooms have been recreated to look as they did in Darwin's time. Upstairs,
the first-floor rooms contain an exhibition on Darwin's life and work. On the backyard there is Darwin's old Greenhouse with
benches filled with orchids and insectivorous plants.
Grampian, Scotland, was built started with a 13th century keep, to which was
later added a
Jacobean mansion house
; has belonged to the
for 653 years; fine furniture and paintings, the 16th-century chapel contains
a beautiful stained glass window;
Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland,
17th century castle
, Dumfriesshire home of
Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry
, renowned collection of paintings by
Leonardo da Vinci
, Rembrandt, Hans Holbein
Banff, Grampian, is one of the most imposing houses in Scotland; was built in
1735-39 for William Duff by William Adam with an unusual dispute about the
bill; the owners of the house had in late 19th century, due to financial
difficulties, to give up it and the house was changed first to an hotel and in
1913 a sanatorium; the Ministry of Works had it fully restored after WW2 and
the Duff House was opened to the public as
an outstation of the National Galleries of Scotland
in April 1995; a remarkable collection of paintings and furniture from
, Strathclyde, stands on a volcanic rock, which has a longer recorded history
as a stronghold than any other place in Britain; was the centre of the
independet British kingdom of Strathclyde from the fifth century until 1018; in
medieval times Dumbarton was an important royal castle; the importance declined
after Cromwell's death in 1658, but continued as a garrison until WW2; most of
its buildings have gone and little has survived from
the old castle.
Helmsley, Yorkshire, is an impressive early-18th century house
and family home of Lord and Lady Feversham, has one of the finest Baroque landscapes in England. The house is surrounded by gardens and parkland which contains many magnificent old trees and a national nature reserve. Following a major fire in 1879 the house was rebuilt with care and superb workmanship, largely to the original design. The house was let in 1924 as a girls' boarding school for 60 years, after which extensive restoration of the buildings and the interiors took place. The family pictures and the collection of English and Continental furniture are on show and the principal rooms remain a fine example of the type of 'grand interior' popular at the turn of the century.
Stonehaven, Grampian, stands on a real
dream of a castle site
- a hard red rock full with a variety of large pebbles and rocks like raisins
in a fruitcake packed there 400 million years ago; in late 14th century Sir
William Keith, the
Marischal of Scotland
built there a tower house, which was later followed by numerous other
fortifications and buildings
; in 1651 the Scottish Crown Jewels were successfully protected here against
Cromwell's army; today the castle is an
impressive and romantic ruin, "a must for anyone who takes Scottish history seriously"!
Sutherland, Scotland, has been the property of the Sutherland family since 13th C. and parts of the present castle date from that time. The castle by the North Sea with 189 rooms, a fairy-tale look and a distinct air of "French Scottish" was created during the remodel in 1845-51 by Sir Charles Barry, the architect for the House of Commons in London. The castle has been used as a naval hospital during the First World War and from 1965 to 1972 as a boys' school before reverting back to being a family house, and it is now lived in by the Countess of Sutherland. Dunrobin is open to the public every day between Easter and September and is well worth a visit. Next to the garden, based on Versailles, there is a museum containing hunting trophies, taxidermy, fossils, medals, archaeological finds and an important collection of Pictish symbol stones.
Oban, Argyll, built before 1275 with a
high curtain-wall on the rock
by fire in 1810
, when only some of the courtyard buildings survived;
Isle of Skye, now badly ruined, stands on a rocky cliff, overlooking the sea. Duntulm was originally a Pictish fortress, was a long-time residence for the Vikings, but a stone castle was built here around 16th C. by the Macleods and later by the MacDonalds, who abandoned it around 1730. Very little is left of the original castle, which is now owned by the council. There are plans to rebuild the walls and make the whole building safer for visitors, to purchase land for on-site car parking and improving the footpath to the site.
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Isle of Skye, has been the stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years and it remains their home. Parts of the castle are thought to date from the ninth century, but building work has been carried out in almost every century since the 13th C. when the MacLeods moved in. The Castle consists of a massive keep, a 15th-century tower and a hall block from the 17th century. The castle was completely remodelled, with ornamental turrets and modern battlements, in the 19th century.
The Castle and its Garden are open all year round and seven days a week. On display are many fine oil paintings and mementos of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Clan MacLeod and there is an exhibition about St.Kilda Islands.
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Updated January 20, 2017