Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Westhall Castle

Westhall Castle includes a 16th-century L-plan tower house, which was substantially extended in the 17th and 19th century. The estate was held by the Bishops of Aberdeen in the 13th century, and passed to the Gordons during the Reformation. The original L-plan tower was constructed in the 16th century, with a round tower added in the 17th century. In 1681 it was purchased by the Rev James Horne, vicar of Elgin. Furt ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Oyne, United Kingdom

Clytha Castle

Clytha Castle is a folly near Clytha between Llanarth and Raglan. Dating from 1790, the castle was built by William Jones, owner of the Clytha Park estate as a memorial to his wife, Elizabeth, who died in 1787. The castle is an example of the Gothic Revival and comprises three towers, of which two are habitable, and linking, castellated curtain walls. Long attributed to John Nash, recent research has confirmed that the ar ...
Founded: 1790 | Location: Raglan, United Kingdom

Quoile Castle

Quoile Castle is a 16th-century tower house, which was inhabited into the 18th century. The south corner of the building has fallen down and shows a cross-section of the castle. In the north east wall the doorway has been rebuilt and gives access to a straight mural stairway. This is protected by murder-holes at the bottom and at the top. The inner doorway at the ground floor opens into a chamber with a stone vault an ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Downpatrick, United Kingdom

Margaret's Castle

Margaret"s Castle is a small Tower house probably built in the 15th century. Only two storeys still exist but there is evidence that it was at least three storeys high. It is vaulted above the ground floor with a rectangular tower with projecting turrets in the north west wall. The doorway between the turrets was protected by a murder-hole. A spiral stairway rises within the west turret. Ardglass had at least six ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ardglass, United Kingdom

Edinample Castle

Edinample Castle is a late 16th-century tower house on the southern shores of Loch Earn near Balquhidder. The estate was granted to Colin Campbell, 6th Laird of Glenorchy in 1547. His son, Sir Duncan Campbell probably built the castle in 1584. The castle takes the form of a Z-plan tower house and most likely incorporates an earlier tower in its eastern side. The rectangular main block measures 13.1 by 8.2 m and is three ...
Founded: 1584 | Location: Balquhidder, United Kingdom

Barnbougle Castle

Barnbougle Castle is a much-altered tower house on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. It lies within the Earl of Rosebery"s estate, just northwest of Dalmeny House. Although its history goes back to the 13th century, the present castle is the result of rebuilding in 1881 by the 5th Earl of Rosebery, who served as Prime Minister from 1894–1895. The castle is built on a projecting rock terrace. It incorporate ...
Founded: 1881 | Location: Dalmeny, United Kingdom

Hawthornden Castle

Hawthornden Castle comprises a 15th-century ruin, with a 17th-century L-plan house attached. The house has been restored and now serves as a writer"s retreat. Man-made caves in the rock beneath the castle have been in use for much longer than the castle itself. The castle comprises a roughly triangular courtyard, approximately 24m long and 12m at its widest point, projecting north-west along a rocky promontory on th ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Midlothian, United Kingdom

Castle Balfour

Castle-skeagh was granted to Michael Balfour, Lord Balfour of Burleigh from Fife, Scotland, by King James I in the Plantation of Ulster. He sold his lands in Fermanagh to his younger brother James, Lord Balfour of Glenawley in 1615. In 1618/19 Captain Nicholas Pynnar reported that Balfour had begun his building at Castle-skeagh. The village of Lisnaskea developed around it. The castle was altered in 1652 and damaged in 16 ...
Founded: c. 1618 | Location: Lisnaskea, United Kingdom

Greencastle

In a beautiful setting with excellent views of the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough, Greencastle is mainly 13th-century in date. It was built at royal expense and guarded the southern approach to the Anglo-Norman Earldom of Ulster. After capturing the town of Carrickfergus in 1315/16, a Scottish army under Edward Bruce headed to the important town of Dundalk, one of the seats of Anglo-Norman power in Ireland. It wa ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Kilkeel, United Kingdom

Gordon Castle

Gordon Castle is located near Fochabers in Moray. Historically known as the Bog-of-Gight or Bog o"Gight, it was the principal seat of the Dukes of Gordon. Following 18th-century redevelopment, it became one of the largest country houses ever built in Scotland, although much has since been demolished. The original castle was built by George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly in the 1470s and enlarged by his grandson and Geor ...
Founded: 1764 | Location: Fochabers, United Kingdom

Portora Castle

Portora Castle was built for Sir William Cole who purchased the land in 1612. It is strategically positioned by the narrow exit of the River Erne into the Lower Lough Erne. Sir Michael Cole and his family moved to Portora Castle in 1710 when their previous residence, Enniskillen Castle, was hit by fire. They remained there until about 1716, when Sir Michael"s son, John Cole (1680–1726), started building Florence ...
Founded: 1612 | Location: Enniskillen, United Kingdom

Dunderave Castle

Dunderave Castle is an L-plan castle built in the 16th century as the Scottish seat of the MacNaughton clan. The castle lies on a small promontory on the northern shores of Loch Fyne. The castle is in use as a residence. The present castle was built after their previous castle was destroyed following a Plague infection. The old castle, and remnants of McNaughton crannógs, can still be seen on the lochan known as th ...
Founded: c. 1500 | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Ardencaple Castle Tower

Today, all that remains of the Ardencaple Castle is a tower, perched on the edge of a plateau, looking down on a flat tract of land between it and the shore of the Firth of Clyde. The original castle was thought to have been built sometime in the 12th century, and part of the remains of the original castle were said to have existed in the 19th century. In 1957 most of the castle was demolished by the government in order t ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Helensburgh, United Kingdom

Castle Lachlan

Castle Lachlan, or New Castle Lachlan, is an 18th-century baronial mansion or country house located at Strathlachlan. It was built in 1790 by Donald Maclachlan, 19th laird, to replace the 15th century Old Castle Lachlan, which stands nearby on the shores of Loch Fyne.
Founded: 1790 | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Kilravock Castle

Kilravock Castle was originally built around 1460 and has been the seat of the Clan Rose since that time. The castle is a composite of a 15th-century tower house and several later additions. The lands were owned by the Boscoe family and it passed via marriage of Andrew Boscoe to his wife Elizabeth Bissett of the Bissett family in the 12th century, after Bosco"s death his widow then deposed the lands via marriage of t ...
Founded: c. 1460 | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Kinlochaline Castle

Kinlochaline Castle is a 12th-century Scottish castle located at the head of Loch Aline, positioned strategically for coastal defence. Four stories tall, 43 by 34 feet, with walls that are 10 feet thick blocks of rare sandstone. The castle was burned in 1644, when it was besieged by Alasdair Mac Colla during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The castle was attacked by the Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll in 1679, duri ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Coeffin Castle Ruins

Coeffin Castle was built on the site of a Viking fortress. The name Coeffin is thought to come from Caifen who was a Viking prince, and whose sister supposedly haunted the castle until her remains were taken back to be buried beside her lover in Norway. Coeffin Castle was built in the 13th century, probably by the MacDougalls of Lorn. Lismore was an important site within their lordship, being the location of St. Moluag's ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Kilclief Castle

Kilclief Castle was the earliest tower-house in Lecale area, and was built between 1412 and 1441. It was originally occupied by John Sely, who is said to have built the castle. John Sely was Bishop of Down from 1429 to 1443, when he was ejected and deprived of his offices for living there with Lettice Whailey Savage, a married woman. The building was garrisoned for the Crown by Nicholas Fitz Symon and ten warders from ...
Founded: 1412-1441 | Location: Strangford, United Kingdom

Findochty Castle

Findochty Castle is a ruined 16th century L-plan tower house, near Findochty. The castle stands on a rock at the end of a drained loch. The castle was built by the Gordons, but was acquired by the Ogilvies, and, in 1568, by the Ord family, who subsequently developed Findochty village as a fishing port. The castle was a ruin in 1794. Some repairs were done to the castle remains in the 1880s. It appears that the castle c ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Findochty, United Kingdom

Gilbertfield Castle

Gilbertfield Castle is within the former barony of Drumsagard, which was a possession of the Hamiltons. The castle was built in the early 17th century, and the date 1607 is displayed on a heraldic panel above the door. The castle was later lived in, around the turn of the 18th century, by William Hamilton of Gilbertfield (1665-1751), a retired soldier and writer. Gilbertfield is a well-planned L-plan tower house. The s ...
Founded: c. 1607 | Location: Cambuslang, 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.