Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Dunnideer Castle Ruins

Dunnideer Castle, now ruined, was a tower house located near Insch, Aberdeenshire. It was built c. 1260 partially from the remains of an existing vitrified hill fort in the same location. It consisted of a single rectangular tower of 15m by 12.5m with walls 1.9m thick. Evidence suggests that a first-floor hall existed. Evidence shows it had several floors. The tower house is built within an older prehistoric vitri ...
Founded: c. 1260 | Location: Insch, United Kingdom

Carbisdale Castle

Carbisdale Castle was built in 1905-1917 for the Duchess of Sutherland on a hill across the Kyle of Sutherland. The castle has 365 windows, and the clock-tower only has clocks on three sides: the side facing Sutherland does not have a clock. There is a secret door below the Great Staircase which could be opened by rotating one of the statues. This mechanism is no longer in use. Until its closure, the castle had a large co ...
Founded: 1905-1917 | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Carrick Castle

The present Carrick Castle is possibly the third on this location. The first may have been a Viking fort. The second structure, and first castle, is believed to have been built in the 12th century. Allegedly a hunting seat of the Scots kings, Carrick was originally a Lamont stronghold. In the spring of 1307, Robert the Bruce drove Henry Percy from the Castle before conducting a guerrilla war against Edward I of England. E ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Ballygally Castle

Ballygally Castle overlooks the sea at the head of Ballygally Bay. Now run as a hotel, it is the only 17th century building still used as a residence in Northern Ireland, and is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in all of Ulster. The castle was built in 1625 by James Shaw, of Scotland, who had come to the area and rented the land from the Earl of Antrim. Over the main entrance door to the castle, leading to ...
Founded: 1625 | Location: Ballygally, United Kingdom

Myres Castle

Myres Castle history is interleaved with that of nearby Falkland Palace with present-day castle construction dating to 1530. The castle and magnificent Scottish garden are now operated as a private conference centre with lodging. Its history is intertwined with the nearby Falkland Palace, since Myres was the hereditary home of the Macers, or Sergeants of Arms, of Falkland. The word myres is associated with a boggy place; ...
Founded: 1530 | Location: Falkland, United Kingdom

Scotstarvit Tower

Scotstarvit Tower is a tower house in Fife, Scotland. The six-storey L-plan tower, still largely intact, was built in the third quarter of the 16th century by the Inglis family. It was bought, in 1611, by Sir John Scot, author of the satirical The Staggering State of the Scots" Statesmen. Scot rebuilt the tower in the 1620s. Scotstarvit later passed to the Wemyss family, and in 1948 it was given to the National ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Castle Roy

Castle Roy is one of the oldest castles of its type in Scotland unique in that it is largely unaltered, whilst most other castles have been extensively modified over the centuries. The castle is thought to have been built at some point in the early 13th century, replacing an earlier wooden motte and bailey keep of Norman influenced design. In accordance with its early design it is one of Scotland’s simplest forts co ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Menstrie Castle

Menstrie Castle is a three-storey manor house was built around 1560 by the Alexander family, a branch of the Clan MacAlister. Sir William Alexander was born here around 1577, and later became known as a poet. He gained a place in the Royal Household of James VI, eventually becoming a member of the Privy Council of Scotland in 1615, Principal Secretary of State in 1626, and Earl of Stirling in 1633. In 1621, he was appoin ...
Founded: 1560 | Location: Menstrie, United Kingdom

Clough Castle

Clough Castle is an excellent example of an Anglo-Norman castle with an added stone tower. A small kidney-shaped bailey lies south of a large mound, originally separated from it by a 2.1m deep ditch. On top of the 25 ft high motte is a stone tower, enlarged to become a tower house in the 15th century. It is sited off-centre as much of the rest of the top of the motte was occupied by a large hall, which apparently burne ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Clough, United Kingdom

Ruperra Castle

Built in 1626 by Sir Thomas Morgan, Steward to the Earl of Pembroke, Ruperra Castle was one of the first of the mock castles to be built in Wales. It was destroyed by fire in 1785, and rebuilt, resultantly became home, especially in the 19th century, to the heir of the estate. Godfrey Charles Morgan, 2nd Baron, 1st Viscount Tredegar, who was a captain in the 17th Lancers during the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Batt ...
Founded: 1626 | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Deer Abbey

Deer Abbey was a Cistercian monastery in Buchan. It was founded in 1219 by the patronage William Comyn, Earl of Buchan, who is also buried there. There was an earlier community of Scottish monks or priests. The notitiae on the margins of the Book of Deer record grants made to the Scottish religious community in the 12th century and a claim that it was founded by Saint Columba and Saint Drostan. The old relig ...
Founded: 1219 | Location: Buchan, United Kingdom

Rossend Castle

A keep, known as the Tower of Kingorne Wester, was in existence on the Rossend Castle site from 1119. It was later referred to as Burntisland Castle, and by 1382 was called Abbot"s Hall, as it was the home of the Abbot of Dunfermline. The present building is largely of the 16th century, though with a 13th-century basement, which contains lancet windows and may represent the remains of a chapel. It was rebuilt by Pete ...
Founded: 1552 | Location: Burntisland, United Kingdom

Barry Castle

Barry Castle was a fortified manor house built on the site of an earlier Norman structure. It was raised by the powerful de Barry family, who played an important role in both the conquest of South Wales and Ireland. The structure was ruinous by the sixteenth century. By the late 13th century the castle had two stone buildings on the east and west sides of a courtyard, but nothing now remains of these above ground. Early ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Barry, United Kingdom

Dairsie Castle

Dairsie Castle is a restored tower house located in Dairsie in north-east Fife. The first castle built here was the property of the bishops of St Andrews, and may have been constructed by William de Lamberton, bishop of St Andrews from 1298 to 1328. A Scottish parliament was held at the castle in early 1335. The castle was rebuilt in the 16th century by the Learmonth family. James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, then regent ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Dolforwyn Castle

Dolforwyn Castle was established by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Gwynedd in the late 13th century. It is sited on a wooded ridge commanding excellent views of the upper Severn Valley. Dolforwyn Castle is a fine example of Welsh castle design as opposed to those built by the English during their conquests of Wales. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Gwynedd"s main land holdings lay in the Gwynedd. In order ...
Founded: 1273-1277 | Location: Llandyssil, United Kingdom

Almond Castle

Almond Castle is a ruined L-plan castle dating from the 15th century. The estate originally belonged to the Crawford family, and they built the castle in about 1470. In about 1540 it passed by marriage to the Livingstones, who built an extension at the south west. They also built an extension along the south east wall in 1586. When James Livingstone was created Baron Livingstone of Almond in 1633 the castle’s name was c ...
Founded: c. 1470 | Location: Linlithgow, United Kingdom

Borthwick Castle

Borthwick Castle is one of the largest and best-preserved surviving medieval Scottish fortifications. The castle was built at the site of an earlier structure, and it remains the Borthwick family ancestral seat. Sir William Borthwick, later the 1st Lord, obtained from King James I on 2 June 1430 a licence to erect a castle or fortalice. It was originally a stone enclosure fortress centring on an unusually tall tower house ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Gorebridge, United Kingdom

Muness Castle

Muness Castle is the most northerly castle in Britain, built by Laurence Bruce, the half brother of Robert Stewart, the Earl of Orkney. Laurence Bruce was appointed Sheriff of Shetland and set to work with a corrupt and cruel enthusiasm that was characteristic of the family. When Robert Stewart was succeeded by his son Patrick, Laurence Bruce felt threatened by the change. He therefore started building Muness Castle in 15 ...
Founded: 1598 | Location: Uyeasound, United Kingdom

Ballone Castle

Ballone Castle is a large late 16th century Z-plan tower house. It consists of a main block of three storeys and a garret, and a round tower and square stair-tower projecting from opposite corners. There are two ruined stair turrets. Corelled-out bartizans crown the corners, and have shot-holes and stone roofs. A courtyard enclosed ranges of buildings, including a bakehouse. The arched entrance, at the foot of one stair- ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Sauchie Tower

In 1431 Sir James Schaw of Greenock, Comptroller to the King, acquired the lands of Sauchie when he married the heiress Mary de Annand. Sauchie Tower was built by Sir James soon after. His son was appointed Governor of Stirling Castle in 1460. The Schaws held the land into the 17th century, with several members of the family serving in the Scottish royal household. Around 1631, Alexander Schaw, who was knighted by King C ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Fishcross, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Seaplane Harbour Museum

The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.

British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.

Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.

Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.

Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.

On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.