Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Saint Aubin's Fort

St Aubin"s Fort was developed on a rocky islet off the coast at the western end of St Aubin"s Bay. It was finished in the 1540s. At that time St Aubin was the primary port on Jersey and the fort controlled the entrance. In the 17th century the Civil War the Parliamentarians turned it into a stronger fortress, by building a bulwark on it, and when the Royalists regained possession they replaced this with granite ...
Founded: 1542 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Battery Moltke

Battery Moltke was an uncompleted World War II coastal artillery battery. It was constructed by Organisation Todt for the Wehrmacht during the Occupation of the Channel Islands. The battery structures include bunkers, gun emplacements and the Marine Peilstand 3 tower, which are located on Les Landes, a coastal heathland area at the north end of St Ouen"s Bay. The bunker was left unfinished at the end of the war, when ...
Founded: 1941 | Location: Jersey, United Kingdom

Kilmartin Castle

Kilmartin Castle, a small tower house, dating from about 1580, stands above the village. Kilmartin was a property of the Campbells, many of whom are buried in the churchyard. John Carswell, Rector of Kilmartin and later titular Bishop of the Isles, lived here before moving to his new residence at Carnasserie Castle. The castle comprises an oblong, three-storey main block, with round towers to the north-east and south-west ...
Founded: c. 1580 | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Ardross Castle

The ruins of Ardross Castle, dating back to at least the 15th century, occupy a fine defensive coastal position standing high on sandstone cliffs overlooking a sandy beach below. In 1068 a Northumbrian knight named Merleswain came to Scotland, and was granted lands in Fife. The first mention of Ardross seems to occur in the mid-12th century. It is believed that a castle was first built on this spot by Sir William Dishin ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Fife, United Kingdom

Wemyss Castle

Wemyss Castle is situated on the sea cliffs between the villages of East Wemyss and West Wemyss. Accounts date the construction of the castle to 1421 when Sir John Wemyss decided to build a fortified castle to replace one destroyed by the Duke of Rothesay at Kilconquhar in 1402. The castle is thus the ancient seat of the Earls of Wemyss and their families. Historically, the castle is perhaps best known as the location whe ...
Founded: c. 1421 | Location: East Wemyss, United Kingdom

Glenbuchat Castle Ruins

Glenbuchat Castle is a historic Z plan Scottish castle built in 1590 for John Gordon of Cairnbarrow to mark his wedding. It is located above the River Don, near Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire. The building is roofless, but otherwise in fairly good repair. The family sold the castle in 1738, and it remained in private hands until the 20th century. James William Barclay bought the castle in 1901, and Colonel James Barcl ...
Founded: 1590 | Location: Kildrummy, United Kingdom

Balgonie Castle

Balgonie Castle keep dates from the 14th century, and the remaining structures were added piecemeal until the 18th century. The keep has been recently restored, although other parts of the castle are roofless ruins. Balgonie, excepting the tower which is used for residential purposes, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The lands of Balgonie were held by the Sibbalds from at least 1246. Probably in the 1360s, the Sibbalds b ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Glenrothes, United Kingdom

Knockhall Castle Ruins

Knockhall Castle was built by Lord Sinclair of Newburgh in 1565. It was purchased by Clan Udny, who moved into the castle in 1634. The building was damaged in 1639 when taken by the Earl Marischal for the Covenanters, but was later returned to Udny hands. The Clan remained in the castle until 1734, when an accidental fire gutted the building and the Clan moved back to their other property, Udny Castle. Jamie Fleem ...
Founded: 1565 | Location: Newburgh, United Kingdom

Tullibole Castle

Tullibole Castle is a 17th-century castle in Crook of Devon. The first evidence of a building on the site was in 1304. The current castle began as a 16th-century tower house before it was expanded in 1608 by John Halliday who bought the land in 1589 from the Herring family. The castle was extended again later in the 18th century before it was passed by marriage to the Moncrieff family in around 1740. The interior of the c ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Crook of Devon, United Kingdom

Ballinbreich Castle

Ballinbreich Castle is a ruined tower house castle in Fife. The castle was built in the 14th century by Clan Leslie, and subsequently rebuilt several times. There may have been an outer curtain-wall though this no longer survives. Much of the present structure is of 16th-century date. It is a three-storey L-plan castle and overlooks the Firth of Tay. Early maps of the castle by Timothy Pont and John Adair at the National ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Mahee Castle

Mahee Castle is a small ruined tower house near Nendrum Monastery on Mahee Island. It was built in 1570 by Captain Thomas Browne. It was abandoned by the early 17th century, and fell into disrepair. In 1923, H.C. Lawlor and the Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society partly renovated the tower house to avoid further erosion and built a buttress wall to support the northwest corner of the tower.
Founded: 1570 | Location: Comber, United Kingdom

Torwood Castle

Torwood Castle is a ruined 16th-century L-plan castle near the village of Torwood. The estate was held by the originally by the Foresters of Garden, who were the foresters responsible for the nearby Royal Forest of Tor Wood from the second half of the 15th century until the mid-17th century. Based on the date found on a carved stone panel found not far from the castle in 1918, the castle has been estimated as being built ...
Founded: c. 1566 | Location: Torwood, United Kingdom

Kilmory Castle

Kilmory Castle is a large 19th-century house located just to the south of Lochgilphead. It is currently occupied by the headquarters of Argyll and Bute Council. The gardens are open to the public and form part of a country park on the former estate. There was a church at Kilmory in ancient times, and in the 1550s the church and lands of Kilmory were held by the Abbot of Paisley. In 1575 the estate was owned by Donald Cam ...
Founded: 1816-1820 | Location: Kilmory, United Kingdom

Invermark Castle

The present Invermark Castle is on the site of a 14th-century castle. The castle belonged to the Lindsays of Crawford. It was designed to control Highland marauders. It was here that David Lindsay, 9th Earl of Crawford died in 1558. The present castle was built in the 16th century, and heightened in the early 17th century. The castle was abandoned in 1803. The 16th-century castle was a three-storey structure, having a co ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Loch Lee, United Kingdom

Cowd Castle

Cowd Castle is a small two-storey tower which may date from the late 15th century or early 16th century. The doorway is in the west wall. A straight mural stairway (now blocked) led to the upper level.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ardglass, United Kingdom

Pencoed Castle

The moat and round tower of Pencoed Castle may date from 1270 by Sir Richard de la More. It passed to the Morgans of Tredegar in the 15th century and a big new mansion on the east side and the gatehouse on the west side were built by Sir Thomas Morgan in c. 1490-1500. The gatehouse and corner tower are ruined and the mansion lies in a gutted and derelict state, though still with some flooring and the roof more or less int ...
Founded: 1490-1500 | Location: Newport, United Kingdom

Mingarry Castle Ruins

Mingarry Castle was considered a strategically important site in terms of communication with overseas areas and as an entranceway to the Sound of Mull. Originally built in the 13th century for the Clan MacDonald of Ardnamurchan, the castle has had many different occupants. King James IV of Scotland used it as a stronghold for fighting off Clan Donald in the late 15th century. In 1515 the castle was besieged by the Clan Ma ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Dundas Castle

Dundas Castle is a 15th-century castle, with substantial 19th-century additions by William Burn, in the Dalmeny parish of West Lothian. The home of the Dundas family since the Middle Ages, it was sold in the late 19th century and is currently the residence of politician and businessman Sir Jack Stewart-Clark. In the 11th century, the lands of Dundas, along with other land in Lothian, were granted by King Malcolm Canmore ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dalmeny, United Kingdom

Amroth Castle

Amroth Castle is a castellated country house dating mainly from the 18th century built on an earlier, probably 15th century, residence, and is now a holiday venue. It is surrounded by a high wall with an entrance archway at the south-western corner. The present building is a 19th-century country house built in the style of a mock castle which possibly replaced a small stone castle dating from the 12th century. The gatehou ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom

Dale Castle

Dale Castle is a 13th-century castle located close to the village of Dale in Wales. In 1910, part of the castle was removed and other parts were incorporated into a new private dwelling house, built in the style of a fortified manor house. Built after the Norman invasion of South Wales, the castle was originally built by the de Vales, descendants of a knight who had accompanied Robert fitz Martin on his invasion of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dale, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.