Castles and fortifications in 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

Craigcrook Castle

The lands of Craigcrook were, in the 14th century, in the possession of the Graham family. In 1362 the lands were given to the chaplains of St. Giles" Cathedral. They passed through several more owners before 1542, when William Adamson, a merchant and burgess of Edinburgh, took possession. The Adamson family constructed, or reconstructed, Craigcrook Castle, and owned it until 1659. It is not known when the castle it ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Kames Castle

Kames Castle is a castellated mansion house on the Isle of Bute. On the shore of Kames Bay near Port Bannatyne, the castle consists of a 14th-century tower, with a house built on it in the 18th Century. The Castle is set in 20 acres (81,000 m2) of planted grounds, including a two-acre 18th century walled garden. Originally the seat of the Bannatyne family, Kames is one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses in Scotla ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Isle of Bute, United Kingdom

Levan Tower House

Levan Castle is a fortified tower house in Levan area of Gourock, Inverclyde. A building had been on the site from the 14th century, but the present structure was substantially enlarged after 1547 and formed part of the Ardgowan Estates. In the 19th century a large mansion was built within a few metres of the ruined castle and was given the same name. The original castle was renovated in the 1980s. The castle has un ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Gourock, United Kingdom

Inverugie Castle

Inverugie Castle or Cheyne"s Tower is the ruins of a motte-and-bailey castle in Aberdeenshire. The ruins are a small mound only three metres high above the River Ugie. This is all that remains of a wooden motte-and-bailey castle of Inverugie built by the Cheynne family in the 12th century. The stone ruins date from later than the original building on the site. The location of the motte relative to the river at Inv ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Peterhead, United Kingdom

Niddry Castle

Niddry Castle is a sixteenth-century tower house built around 1500 by the Lord Seton. Mary, Queen of Scots stayed here 2 May 1568, after her escape from captivity in Loch Leven Castle. George, Lord Seton garrisoned the castle in support of Queen Mary in 1572 during the civil war in Scotland. According to two chronicles, Niddry was attacked twice, in April and June. In April, Captain Scougall with forewarning repelled a n ...
Founded: c. 1500 | Location: Winchburgh, United Kingdom

Bréhon Tower

An obelisk was erected on Bréhon island in 1744 to serve as a sea mark. However the lack of visibility of the obelisk led to its replacement in 1824 by a tower 40 ft high and 34 ft in circumference, topped by a globe. During the tenure (1803-1813) of Lieutenant Governor General Sir John Doyle, there were plans to erect a guardhouse on Bréhon, but nothing came of these. Doyle was responsible, however, for sub ...
Founded: 1854-1856 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Foulis Castle

Foulis Castle is a white washed mansion that incorporates an old tower house with gun loops. The castle was held by the Clan Munro from the 12th century or earlier and they had a stronghold there. The remains of an 11th-century Motte (man-made mound topped by a wooden palisade), believed to be the very first fortification at Foulis, still remain in the castle grounds today. Foulis Castle itself is mentioned briefly in re ...
Founded: c. 1154 | Location: Evanton, United Kingdom

Carra Castle Ruins

Carra Castle dates to around the early 14th century. The castle lies in a field near the coast and the harbour of Cushendun, known as Murlough Bay. The site had once been used during medieval times as a children"s cemetery. The castle was once occupied by Irish king Shane O"Neill, and Sorley Boy McDonnell was held as a prisoner here in 1565. In 1567, two years after being defeated by O"Neill, the McD ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Cushendun, United Kingdom

Castle Upton

Castle Upton is situated in the village of Templepatrick. Originally the site of a 13th-century fortified priory of the Knights of St John, the present building was constructed around 1610 by the Norton family who settled here during the Plantation of Ulster. Soon after, it was bought by the Upton family, later the Viscounts Templetown, who remained in possession until the 20th century. The castle was remodelled in t ...
Founded: 1610 | Location: Templepatrick, United Kingdom

Lordscairnie Castle

Cairnie was a property of the Lindsay family, later Earls of Crawford, from 1355. The tower was constructed around 1500 by Alexander Lindsay of Auchtermoonzie (d.1517). The second son of the 4th earl of Crawford, Alexander subsequently became 7th earl, inheriting the earldom from his nephew who was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. According to John Knox, James V of Scotland visited the castle just before his death ...
Founded: c. 1500 | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Penrice Castle

Penrice Castle is the 13th-century successor to a strong ringwork. It was built by the de Penrice family, who were given land there for their part in the Norman conquest of Gower. The last de Penrice married a Mansel in 1410 and the castle and its lands passed to the Mansel family. The Mansels later bought Margam Abbey and made it their main seat, while retaining their Gower lands. The castle was damaged in the 17th-centu ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Gower Peninsula, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.