Castles of England.

Locks of Great Britain.

There are a lot of ancient castles preserved in Great Britain. Few countries in the world have left such a rich heritage. Probably it’s because of famous careful attitude of English people to their homes, expressed in a saying My house is my castle. Windsor and Buckingham Palace are familiar to all travelers, but what other castles are worth seeing in Britain? We have compiled a selection of the most beautiful, ancient and interesting castles.


Eileen-Donan is one of the most romantic castles in the UK. It is located on a small rocky island in a Scottish fjord called Loch Duich. Its name translates as “Donan’s Castle” and is given in honor of the reclusive monk Donan of Eig, who lived in seclusion on the island in the 7th century AD.

The scenery around Eileen-Donan is magnificent. Surrounded by wooded hills, the fjord is divided into three picturesque lakes. An island with a medieval castle, to which an ancient bridge leads, fits perfectly into this picture. This place is remote from civilization, which is what attracts tourists.

Eulen Donan was built in the 13th century, when the country was ruled by Alexander II. It was a powerful fortress with a convenient location, which served as protection against the Vikings. In 1263 the castle passed into the possession of Colin Fitzgerald. This commander showed courage at the Battle of Largs, which resulted in Scotland’s acquisition of the Isle of Man and the Hebrides. Fitzgerald founded the Scottish Mackenzie clan, and Eileen-Donan Castle was for a long time their most important fortress.

In 1719, Eileen-Donan was destroyed by the British during the Jacobite Rebellion. For almost two centuries it lay in ruins. In 1911, the castle’s new owner, John McRae-Gilstrap of the Macraean clan, allied with the Mackenzies, began restoration. As a result, the castle was completely restored to its former appearance.

Eileen-Donan is now owned by a private charitable foundation that maintains and restores the castle. The Macraeus family lives in separate rooms of the castle. But the castle is open to the public for six months from March 1 to November 2. There is a fee to enter the grounds of Eileen-Donan.


Carnarvon is one of Britain’s most powerful and impressive fortresses. It is part of the historic complex of medieval military architecture in Wales called “The Castles and Fortresses of King Edward I,” which is under the protection of UNESCO. The complex also includes Harlech, Conwy and Beaumaris castles. Carnarvon has the most convenient location for tourists: it is located in the town of the same name in the county of Guinet in Wales.

The first fortress on this place of the Welsh coast of the North Sea appeared before Christ: it was a wooden fort. In the 9th century AD a wooden castle of the Norman type was built here, which stood until the reign of Edward I. This English king ordered to build a new stone castle on the site of the old fortress. Several other castles were built along with it, which were supposed to strengthen English influence in Wales. Construction was completed in the 1330s.

Carnarvon was one of the most impregnable English fortresses. From the sea it was protected by impregnable cliffs, and from the land side by powerful high walls. A distinctive feature of Carnarvon architecture are polygonal towers, which are associated with the towers of Constantinople. In addition, the castle walls are decorated with colored stripes, which resemble the appearance of Constantinople walls.

When the Tudor dynasty with Welsh roots ascended the English throne in 1485, the castles in Wales no longer mattered – the English no longer needed to hold the Welsh by force. Carnarvon was abandoned and remained in disrepair until the end of the 19th century. The stone structures were well preserved, but the wooden parts had rotted away and the glass and iron had been removed. In 1870, Carnarvon began to be restored. In 1908, the castle received protection as a historic building. Soon it began to host ceremonies for the title of Prince of Wales.

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The castle is open to tourists all year round. Carnarvon now houses the Museum of the Welsh Royal Rifles. It also hosts cultural events, jousting tournaments, and other historical reenactments.


Arundel is one of the oldest castles in Britain. Its history goes back almost 1,000 years. It is located in the small settlement of Arundel, two hours from London, near Brighton and Portsmouth. It is a huge, majestic and picturesque castle, which was originally built as a defensive fortification, but over the centuries served as the residence of the dukes.

The first Arundel was of wood. It was built by Earl Roger de Montgomery, one of William the Conqueror’s entourage, in 1068. Later a donjon of stone and a church were added to the fortress, and a garden was laid out in the courtyard. In the 12th century, it was expanded and rebuilt several times. By the 17th century it was already stone, but unfortunately it was badly damaged during the civil wars. At the beginning of the 19th century it was restored during the reign of Queen Victoria. During World War II, the castle housed troops before the landing in Normandy.

After the rebellion of de Montgomery’s son against the king, the castle was confiscated and came into the possession of the Crown. In 1138, Arundel went to Adelise of Louvain, widow of King Henry I. After that, the castle became hereditary: it is owned by the descendants of Adeliza of Louvain, after the death of her family on the male line it passed to the noble family of Fitzalans, then the Dukes of Norfolk. But it did not become a family residence until the late 18th century. Now the 18th Duke of Norfolk and his family reside there.

Arundel houses a magnificent collection of art and antiques. The castle is open to the public from March 25 to November 1. It can be reached by train to Arundel station, from which you can quickly walk to the castle. The castle is surrounded by the picturesque streets of the village of the same name, which is rich in other attractions: the Catholic cathedral, the stone bridge over the River Arun, and the ruins of a monastery.

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle has been compared to the famous Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster for the beauty of its architecture and surroundings. In the list of Britain’s most famous castles, it is the second most visited after Windsor. This castle is also notable for the fact that it was built by William the Conqueror himself. It’s situated in the town of Warwick in Warwickshire, in central England, on a picturesque sandstone cliff on the banks of the River Avon.

As early as the 10th century, Warwick Castle was the site of an Aglo-Saxon fortress that protected it from invading Danes. Construction of the Warwick fortification began in 1068. William the Conqueror found a convenient location for the castle in the heart of the country, where the river and the cliff created a good natural defence. This fortress was excellent for maintaining control of the center of the country as William advanced north.

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In 1088, the castle came under the possession of the Earls of Warwick, after whom it was named. Later the castle was seized by the future King of England Henry II Plantagenet, who later returned the Warwick’s possession. For many generations the castle was inherited by the Warwick family.

Warwick Castle has been rebuilt more than once. Over the course of its existence, its interiors and layout have changed greatly, but the architecture has remained the same. It’s a fine example of a mighty feudal fortress and one of Britain’s most important historical monuments.

Warwick has a collection of medieval armor and paintings by old masters. The castle is surrounded by a luxurious park, which was laid out in the Middle Ages. Over the centuries, the best landscape designers in Britain have worked on it. Nowadays shows of vultures and bald eagles are held there every day. Several times a year jousting tournaments are held here.


Leeds, a medieval castle located just an hour away from London, in Kent, attracts many tourists. It is a typical British castle in Norman style and sits on the banks of a river. On the territory of the castle there is also a yew labyrinth, a huge aviary and an interesting museum of ancient dog collars.

Leeds Castle was built in the 11th century by a Norman baron. Despite its fortification-like architecture, the castle was built as a palace. In 1278, it came into the possession of the kings of England. Edward I and his wife completed and renovated it, which is when Leeds acquired its modern appearance. For several centuries in a row it was the royal residence. The palace was especially magnificent under Henry VIII’s wife, Catherine of Aragon.

In 1926, Leeds went into private ownership – the palace was put up for sale, and it was purchased by the wealthy Lady Olive Baillie. She completely renovated the interiors, hiring the best British interior designers and decorators. They renovated the Queen’s bedroom and bathroom, built an oak staircase and landscaped the park. Lady Baillie collected beautiful collections of crockery, furniture, paintings and tapestries at the castle.

Surrounding Leeds are picturesque green courses, ideal for golf. You can rent the course for a fee of about £20 on a weekend. Or you can simply walk around to appreciate the beauty of the castle and the surrounding landscape from afar. Leeds offers segways for rent for this purpose.


Balmoral is one of Scotland’s most beautiful castles. It’s not as old as the others in our selection, but it’s no less interesting. This castle is the royal residence in Scotland. It is located in Aberdeenshire on the banks of the River Dee.

Balmoral was originally built as a royal residence by order of Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria. The site had been the site of an old Scottish estate since 1390. The architect of the palace was William Smith. He chose a spectacular Gothic style, which makes the castle look more antique. The walls are built of granite and decorated with sculptures of saints and heraldic symbols.

Balmoral is remarkable for its interior decoration. The most luxurious element of the interior is the huge central staircase with carved stair railings covered with gilt. The rooms are decorated with valuable works of art. Next to the castle there is a park with a greenhouse, where exotic plants are grown.

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The royal family spends several weeks a year in Balmoral, in late summer and early autumn. From April to July the castle is open to the public: you can walk around the palace, visit the Parade Hall with portraits of the kings’ pets, see the grand staircase, admire the plants in the greenhouse and drink real English tea in a cafe near the castle.

Top 10: The greatest castles of England, their photos, history and interesting facts + bonus

It’s hard to pick your favorite castles after spending so many entertaining days exploring them. Instead, I’ll try to show you the varied and most interesting castles in England.

There are majestic fortresses, such as Dover, which stands like a sentinel over the Channel. It protects England from Europe.

Castles of England

There are also romantic ruins in this country, such as the remains of Dunstanburgh Castle on the windswept north coast of the island.

Particularly beautiful is the red-stone silhouette of Goodrich Castle, nestled in Herefordshire.

There are many castles in England, here is an overview of my favorites.

The Tower of London: history, legends of ghosts and murdered princes

The history of the Tower is full of plots with macabre events and bloodshed.

Read just some of the history of the Tower, such as the tales of the Traitor’s Gate, the execution of Anne Boleyn, and the truth about the noisy crows. If you’re interested in solving the mysteries of medieval histories, try to piece together the legends of the princes murdered in the Tower.

Tower of London

If you’re looking for spooky stories, however, these are tales of decapitated ghosts, devil spirits, choking ghosts – the entire set of Tower of London ghost stories.

Framlingham Castle – where Mary Tudor was proclaimed queen

Mary Tudor was proclaimed the first queen of England at Framlingham Castle, Suffolk.

Framlingham Castle

Framlingham is a spectacular castle. It is a small ring-shaped fortress with 13 tall towers, hidden, as if behind a curtain, behind substantial walls.

Framlingham was built in 1190, and it is still spectacular.

Rochester Castle. Get me 40 fat pigs!

Rochester Castle is a small but imposing fortress located near London. Rochester survived two significant sieges and was nearly blown up by the fat of 40 pigs.

Rochester Castle

The city of Rochester is closely associated with the name of Charles Dickens and is depicted in some of his novels.

Bodiam Castle – the work of a genius

The sunset over Bodiam Castle, Sussex is one of the most majestic spectacles. Bodiam Castle is one of the castles in the world that has been most spectacularly surrounded by water.

Bodiam Castle

The castle looks like an illustration dropped out of an art album. Its evocative beauty hides the work of architectural genius: visual tricks and planning twists were designed to enhance the perfect look of the castle.

Dover Castle – Defender of England

Dover Castle has a special strategic significance in the history of England.

The castle’s location near the Pas de Calais seems threatening because it is the shortest distance between England and France.

Dover Castle

But Dover’s defensive qualities weren’t just useful in the Middle Ages.

During World Wars I and II, the castle was used as an active base, and in the event of World War III, it is to become the control center for atomic bombs.

Castle Lewis: A beautiful mound and polisade castle

Lewis Castle is a beautiful mound and polisade fortress in Sussex.

It was built in 1067 after the Normans conquered England, and was thus one of the first castles in the country.

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Castle Lewis

The castle has a spectacular canopied tower with a cool, intimidating weapon, the canopy loophole.

Tintagel Castle and the Legend of King Arthur

The ruins of Tintagel Castle are on the rugged coast of Cornwall. Old legends tell us that King Arthur was born here, but one must be sensible and believe these legends with a grain of doubt.

Tintagel Castle

You can now find medieval ruins scattered along the coast near the mysterious settlements of this dark age. And we must not forget Merlin’s Cave.

Kenilworth Castle and Queen Elizabeth

Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire is the largest of England’s ruined castles. The stories of this castle are varied, one of them being the greatest siege in the Middle Ages, in 1266. In addition, this castle played a prominent role in Tudor times.

Kenilworth Castle

Robert Lester, the owner of the castle, sought the love and hand of the queen, and in an effort to impress, he decorated and reconstructed the castle.

Goodrich Castle – majestic red stone ruins

Goodrich Castle is situated in one of Britain’s most beautiful places. Surrounded by lush green Herefordshire countryside, these medieval red sandstone ruins are reflected in the River Wye.

Goodrich Castle

Tamworth Castle – A masterpiece of medieval architecture

Surrounded by delightful Staffordshire parkland and the cold River Thame, Tamworth Castle is a fine example of mound-and-polisade castle architecture.

This little castle is known for frequent apparitions. The castle courtyard is filled with magnificent old residential buildings.

Tamworth Castle

Beeston Castle – beautiful views and buried treasure

Beeston Castle sits on a huge limestone cliff, and its amazing image can be seen in eight counties.

Rumor has it that this beautiful ruin still contains the buried treasure of Richard II.

Beeston Castle

Pontefract Castle – once England’s most formidable castle

It’s hard to believe now, but Pontefract Castle was once one of England’s largest, most powerful and formidable castles.

Now, once a fierce looking fortress, it has become a ruin, a shadow of its former strength.

Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle was described by Shakespeare, and enjoyed notoriety in early modern England.

The two castles in York are Baillie Hill Castle and Clifford’s Tower

York is undoubtedly the prettiest and historically most important city in northern England.

It is hard to imagine now that York once had two castles. Bailey Hill Castle is long gone, but the remains of York Castle–now Clifford Tower–are really worth a visit.

Bailey Hill Castle and Clifford Tower

The remains of Clifford’s shell-shaped tower are actually one of the most beautiful views in all of York.

Dunstanburgh Castle – wind-scattered ruins and the legend of Sir Guy, the seeker

The wind-scattered ruins of Dunstanburg Castle are very spectacular.

The remote castle was built as a safe home for a wayward duke, Sir Thomas of Lancaster. He had ideas whose realization went far beyond his authority.

Castle Dunstanburg

There are many old legends about Dunstanburgh Castle, one of which is about Sir Guy, the seeker, according to the king’s curse he had to wander the castle for his life.

History of the castles of England: 1066

In 1066, the battle of Hastings took place-the Norman invasion changed the landscape of England forever.

Before 1066, castles were not true “castles,” military structures looked quite different.

Forts were scattered across the green and beautiful lands of England, and there were old Roman forts and their remnants all over the uplands.

Usually these fortifications had nothing in common with “castles,” these structures were militarily powerful and at the same time habitable; besides, from this place the lord exercised leadership over the whole territory.

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Photo of England Castles

Magnificent Goodrich Castle was the home of the de Valence family, which controlled much of Herefordshire.

The Normans changed all that. They understood that such castles were excellent defenses and places of control.

After the Battle of Hastings, the Normans improved, and soon much of the country was under their control.

To maintain their power, they began building insane mound-and-polisade type castles.

Why did the Normans build so many castles in England?

Why did the Normans build so many castles in England? They learned from experience. Their castle-building techniques served them well in achieving their objectives, and as a result they were subjected to most of the lands of the Middle Ages, including northern France and even Sicily.

The castle was the center of power, and its influence extended throughout the territory. It was the lord’s home and his way of controlling his territory.

Although castles were something of an import, England embraced them.

Castles of England

Over the next six hundred years, thousands of castles were built throughout England, transforming from mound-and-polisade castles to wooden structures and then to fantastic stone buildings after the 13th century. One formidable king of England should be noted, Edward I, who ruled from 1272 to 1307, and was obsessed with subjugating Scotland and Wales to England.

Edward I – England’s most formidable king

Among the monarchs of the Middle Ages, none was more feared than Edward I.

Edward I, nicknamed ‘long-legged’ because of his immense stature, was a warrior king who conquered Wales and kept his eye on Scotland.

Thanks to Edward, many huge castles were built in the British Isles, all designed to support Edward’s steely grip on power.

Of course, as the centuries passed, castles were no longer needed to protect and maintain power by military force.

English castles became more important for maintaining power through prestige, rank, and class.

Famous Castles of England

The aristocracy made castles their homes, and kings increased their importance by building new castles.

For example, the tenacious Henry VIII adopted a profligate program of castle building during the 1500s.

The late seventeenth century was a dark time in history for English castles.

During the English Civil War, they served as defenses and were used as outposts.

Many castles were needed again during the bitter war between Royalists and Parliamentarians to repel sieges, protect lands and wealthy families. But a new enemy emerged: gunpowder. Stone castles were not built to withstand fire and artillery fire from powerful cannons.

Goodrich Castle was shelled with cannonballs during the Civil War.

As a result, many castles were destroyed or severely damaged. And in the end, the victorious parliamentarians deliberately destroyed many facilities. This was done to insulate their own power – so that opposition forces could not use these castles in opposition.

How many castles are there in England? It is impossible to answer this question, many castles are in ruins, many are “lost castles”, destroyed, disappeared over time.

Magnificent English Castles

Along with this question, experts debate which buildings can be considered castles. Why? It turns out that in the 18th and 19th centuries wealthy people turned their estates into castles.

Can they be counted as total castles? Or count them as fake?

The National Trust of England oversees 13 castles, and English Heritage manages about 100 more. I believe 900 castles are in a state of repair and thousands more in ruins or lost.

And here’s another interesting video about England’s abandoned castles and the mystical stories associated with them:

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