Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Creich Castle

Creich Castle is a ruined tower house. There is a mention of a castle on the property in the 13th century, but it is uncertain what relationship that has to the existing structures. There is documentary evidence of a tower in 1553, but the existing structure either postdates that or has been heavily remodeled, judging by its architectural style. The first surviving records that mention Craich show that it was held by the ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Cupar, United Kingdom

Balmanno Castle

Balmanno Castle is a moated tower house located in Perthshire hamlet of Dron. It was built between 1570 and 1580. It is now modernised and is in good condition. The moat is still partially filled with water. It was built for George Auchinleck, after acquiring the estate. The celebrated Scots architect Sir Robert Lorimer undertook a major restoration in 1915 for William Millar, a Glasgow ship-owner, as his summer residenc ...
Founded: 1570-1580 | Location: Bridge of Earn, United Kingdom

Methven Castle

The lands of Methven were owned by the Mowbray family from the 12th century. The Mowbrays supported the claim of John Balliol against Robert the Bruce, and on the latter"s victory, Methven was confiscated by the crown, and given to Walter Stewart, the Bruce"s son-in-law. His descendant, Walter Stewart, Earl of Atholl, was deprived of the lands following his involvement in a plot to kill King James I. The castle ...
Founded: 1664 | Location: Perth and Kinross, United Kingdom

Cresswell Castle

Cresswell Castle is a castle half a mile north of the village of Cresswell Quay. It is situated on the banks of the River Cresswell in what is currently private land. The buildings were originally a 13th-century stone fortified manorial complex, founded by the Augustinian Priory of Haverfordwest. Cresswell Castle is thought to date back to the thirteenth century but has seen many alterations since, particularly in the si ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Jeffreyston, United Kingdom

Skibo Castle

Although the Skibo Castle dates back to the 12th century, the present structure is largely of the 19th century, and early 20th century, when it was the home of industrialist Andrew Carnegie. It is now operated as the Carnegie Club, a members-only hotel and country club. The first record of Skibo Castle is a charter from 1211. From its early history, the castle was a residence of the Bishops of Caithness. Skibo Castle rem ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Castle Stuart

Castle Stuart is a restored tower house on the banks of the Moray Firth. The land the castle was built on was granted to James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray by his half-sister, Mary, Queen of Scots, following her return to Scotland in 1561. The successive murders of Stewart and his son-in-law, James Stewart, 2nd Earl of Moray, meant that the castle was finally completed by his grandson, James Stuart, 3rd Earl of Moray, in 16 ...
Founded: 1619-1625 | Location: Inverness, United Kingdom

Abergeldie Castle

The name of Abergeldie Castle derives from the Pictish language, and means the 'Confluence of Geldie.' A late Bronze Age standing stone on the lawn of the castle is one indicator of the great antiquity of this site, and its long occupation by man. It also has one of the longest unbroken records of ownership, being in the hands of the Gordon family for 600 years. The current tower house was most likely built ...
Founded: c. 1550 | Location: Crathie, United Kingdom

Invercauld Castle

Invercauld Castle is a country house which grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. The Farquharson family settled in the area in the 14th century, and constructed a tower house in the 16th century. A vaulted basement within the present building dates from this time, although the tower house was remodelled in the late 17th century. Further alterations were made through ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Braemar, United Kingdom

Muchalls Castle

Muchalls Castle stands overlooking the North Sea in the countryside of Kincardine and Mearns. The lower course is a well preserved Romanesque, double-groined 13th century towerhouse structure, built by the Frasers of Muchalls. Upon this structure, the 17th-century castle was begun by Alexander Burnett of Leys and completed by his son, Sir Thomas Burnett, 1st Baronet, in 1627. The Burnetts of Leys built the remain ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Muchalls, United Kingdom

Finavon Castle

Finavon estate was the property of the Lindsay Earls of Crawford from 1375, who built the now-ruined castle. David Lindsay, 10th Earl of Crawford, married Margaret, the daughter of Cardinal David Beaton, at Finavon in 1546. Extravagance ruined the Crawford fortunes, and in 1625 the barony of Finavon was disposed of by a forced sale to Alexander Lindsay, 2nd Lord Spynie. It passed through the Carnegie family, the Gordo ...
Founded: 1375 | Location: Finavon, United Kingdom

Guthrie Castle

Guthrie Castle dates back to the 15th century, although much of the present building is of 19th-century origin. It is now a private house. Guthrie Castle comprises a tower house, originally built by Sir David Guthrie (1435–1500), Treasurer and Lord Justice-General of Scotland, in 1468. The Guthrie family later built a house beside the tower. In 1848, the two were linked by a baronial style expansion, to designs by Davi ...
Founded: 1468 | Location: Forfar, United Kingdom

Terpersie Castle

Terpersie Castle is a 16th-century tower house in Tullynessle. The small Z-plan tower house was constructed in 1561 by the Gordon family. In 1665 it was restored after burning down. After 1885 it was abandoned, and stood in ruins during most of the 20th century. In the 1980s the castle was restored as a residence by architects William Cowie Partnership. Terpersie is one of the earliest known Z-plan castles, defin ...
Founded: 1561 | Location: Tullynessle, United Kingdom

Udny Castle

The exact construction date of Udny Castle is unknown, but its foundations probably date from the late 14th or early 15th century. The castle was abandoned sometime around 1775 then repair work was undertaken in 1801. In 1964, restoration work was begun on the original tower house and the mansion house was demolished.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Pitmedden, United Kingdom

Auchterhouse Castle

Auchterhouse Castle is a 13th century castle located northwest of Dundee, Angus. The original castle was enclosed with walls, towers, and contained a keep. The castle may have been in ownership of the Ramsay family, who were hereditary Sheriffs of Angus. Sir William Wallace is alleged to have stayed at the castle and one its towers was named in his honour. King Edward I of England spent the night of the 20 July 1303 at th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Balnagown Castle

There has been a castle on the site of current Balnagown Castle since the 14th century, although the present building was remodelled in the 18th and 19th centuries. Balnagown is the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan Ross. In the early 14th century, a castle was begun at Balnagown by Hugh, Mormaer (Earl) of Ross. Hugh was husband of Maud, sister of King Robert the Bruce, although after Hugh"s death in 1333, his fa ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Kildary, United Kingdom

Whitefield Castle

Whitefield Castle is a ruined L-plan tower-house on the hill above the village of Kirkmichael in Strath Ardle. Built in the 12th century by Malcolm Canmore as a hunting lodge, it was expanded in 1577 by the Spalding family. It is now ruinous. The castle also has a ley tunnel legend, a tradition often found associated with ancient residences. This tunnel was said to link up with nearby Ashintully Castle.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Blairgowrie and Rattray, United Kingdom

Beaufort Castle

The present Beaufort castle is a Baronial style mansion built in 1880, but incorporates older building work. There has been a castle on the site since the 12th century. Beaufort is the traditional seat of the Lords Lovat. The earliest mention of the site, as Downie or Dounie Castle, occurs in the reign of Alexander I (1106–1124), when a siege took place. The original castle was built by the Byset family. The castle ...
Founded: 1880 | Location: Beauly, United Kingdom

Dalcross Castle

Dalcross Castle is a classic Scottish tower house complete with a beamed Great Hall and large fireplace, a stone spiral main staircase, a secret staircase, turret rooms, shot holes and arrow slits and leaded windows in the Sitting Room. Guests have the use of the beautifully landscaped gardens. Built by Simon, first Lord Lovat, in 1620 and held by the Lovat Frasers until 1703 Dalcross Castle then became the home of the M ...
Founded: 1620 | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Dunbeath Castle

Dunbeath castle is first recorded on the rocky peninsula at Dunbeath in 1428, when the lands belonged to the Earl of Caithness. The first recorded laird was Alexander Sutherland. It later became the property of the Clan Sinclair through the marriage of the daughter of Alexander Sutherland to William Sinclair (1410–1484), the first Sinclair Earl of Caithness. The Sinclairs replaced the earlier structure with a four-store ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Castle Grant

Castle Grant was the former seat of the Clan Grant chiefs of Strathspey in Highlands. The castle is a Z-plan tower house that dates from the fifteenth century. The lands had been held by the Clan Comyn but passed to the Grants in the fifteenth century and it became their main stronghold. Although the Grants were Protestants they joined James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose during the Scottish Civil War in the 1640s. The ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Highland, 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.