Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Castle Toward

Castle Toward was built in 1820 to replace a late medieval castle, which was home of the Clan Lamont. In the Second World War it served as HMS Brontosaurus, and after the war it was sold to Glasgow Corporation. It was used as an outdoor education facility until closure in 2009. The original Toward Castle dates from the 15th century, and was owned by the Clan Lamont until 1809. The castle was extended in the 17th century, ...
Founded: 1820 | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Inchdrewer Castle

Inchdrewer Castle is a 16th-century tower house in the parish of Banff. Originally owned by the Currour family, it was purchased by the Ogilvies of Dunlugas in 1557 and became their main family seat. The Ogilvies were staunch Royalists, which resulted in the castle coming under attack from the Covenanters in 1640.  George Ogilvy, 3rd Lord Banff was murdered in 1713 and his body hidden inside the castle, which wa ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Banff, United Kingdom

Knock Castle Ruins

Knock Castle is a four-storey ruin, dating from approximately 1600. The external walls of the castle survive intact, although the tower is roofless. The inside of the tower is entirely ruined, but the remains of a vaulted basement, used as a kitchen, and a spiral turnpike staircase can still be seen. An unusual feature at Knock are the defensive shot holes for pistols, of which three are located under each of the numerou ...
Founded: c. 1600 | Location: Ballater, United Kingdom

Ethie Castle

Ethie Castle dates to around 1300, when the monks at nearby Arbroath Abbey built a sandstone keep. The castle passed through the hands of the de Maxwell family and into the ownership of Scotland"s last Cardinal, David Beaton who was murdered in St. Andrews in 1546. Its association with Cardinal Beaton is still evident as the castle includes a small chapel and the Cardinal"s Sitting Room, with its secret staircas ...
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Arbroath, United Kingdom

Dunimarle Castle

The original Dunimarle Castle is now a ruin, but adjacent to it stands an 18th-century building, borrowing its name, constructed by the Erskine family. The house was rebuilt by R & R Dickson in 1839. It has a good library. Until recently it had some fine art which is now found on temporary loan to the National Galleries museum at Duff House, near Banff, North East Scotland. From 1575, Dunimarle Castle had a coal mine ...
Founded: 1575 | Location: Culross, United Kingdom

Pitsligo Castle Ruins

Pitsligo Castle originated as a 15th-century keep. There is an arched gateway in the west wall of the outer court, with the date 1656 and the arms of the Forbes and Erskines. In the inner court the date is shown as 1663. At the north-east angle of the courtyard there is a tall flanking drum-tower. The main tower had three vaulted stories, but almost all above the lowest has disappeared. There is a stair tower at the ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Rosehearty, United Kingdom

Balfour Castle

Balfour Castle was a baronial mansion at Balfour Mains, near Kirkton of Kingoldrum. The castle which was built in the 16th century is largely demolished except for a six-storey circular tower. A farm house has been built incorporating some of the ruins in c. 1845. The farmhouse and castle remains were designated as a Category B listed building in 1971.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Kirriemuir, United Kingdom

Hallforest Castle Ruins

Hallforest Castle is a keep, one of the oldest in Scotland, as it dates from the 14th century. The castle is believed to have been built by Robert the Bruce as a hunting lodge; he is said to have granted it to Robert II Keith, Marischal of Scotland, the predecessor of the Earls of Kintore. Mary, Queen of Scots visited Hallforrest in 1562. The castle was frequently attacked during the 17th-century wars. It may ha ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Kintore, United Kingdom

Dunglass Castle

Dunglass Castle, situated in West Dunbartonshire, is a ruinous castle, originally constructed during 1400–1542. A large section of high wall remains, to approximately 7–8 metres high, with a mixture of original and newer construction. A small conical dovecot also exists on the south wall but it is now completely ruined. The castle and courtyard stone was taken in 1735 to use in repair of the quay following an or ...
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Bowling, United Kingdom

Quintin Castle

Quintin Castle is one of the very few occupied Anglo-Norman castles in Ireland. The castle was built by John de Courcy in 1184 and it was later occupied by the Savage family and their dependents, the Smiths. In the 17th century Sir James Montgomery, then living at Rosemount, Greyabbey, purchased the Quintin estate from Dulaltaigh Smith. His son William, built a walled courtyard and other smaller towers, a large ho ...
Founded: 1184 | Location: Portaferry, United Kingdom

Balintore Castle

Balintore Castle occupies an elevated site in moorland above Balintore village. A tower house named Balintor existed on the site in the late 16th century. It was designed in 1859 by the architect William Burn. A typical example of the Scottish Baronial style, it features an abundance of turreted towers and gables, and a gone oriel window. The main tower is topped by a balustraded viewing platform similar to that of B ...
Founded: 1859 | Location: Kirriemuir, United Kingdom

Mearns Castle

Mearns Castle was built by Herbert, Lord Maxwell, under a royal warrant issued in 1449, and remained with the family until James VI required the fifth Lord to deliver it up to the crown. It was sold to Sir George Maxwell of Nether Mearns in the mid-17th century, and later passed to the Shaw-Stewart family. In 1971 the tower"s remaining stories were converted to a link between two Church of Scotland buildings. The ca ...
Founded: 1449 | Location: Newton Mearns, United Kingdom

Newton Castle

The oldest record of Newton castle dates from c. 1550. The castle was burned down by Oliver Cromwell army in the 17th century and rebuilt after that. It has been in private posession since 1788 with some alterations after that.
Founded: c. 1550 | Location: Blairgowrie and Rattray, United Kingdom

Teaninich Castle

It is not known exactly how long a castle has been on the site of Teaninich Castle but it is thought to date back to at least the 16th century. In the 16th century, the lands in which Teaninich Castle is situated was an area known as Fyrish. In 1589, the lower quarter of the Fyrish lands were acquired from Keith of Delny by Hugh Munro 1st of Teaninich, son of John Munro 3rd of Coul, whose grandfather Hugh Munro 1st of Cou ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Teaninich, United Kingdom

Balquhain Castle

Balquhain Castle is a ruined tower house in Aberdeenshire. It was built in the 14th century and held by Leslie family from 1340. On 5 July 1441 John Leslie of Balquhain made an indenture with four masons, David Hardgat, David Dun, Robert Masoun and Gilbert Masoun that they would complete his building work. The castle was sacked during a feud with the Forbes family in 1526. The castle was rebuilt in 1530. Mary Que ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Pitcaple, United Kingdom

Affleck Castle

Affleck Castle, also known as Auchenleck Castle, was built on the lands of the Auchenlecks in the 15th century. In the early 18th century it belonged to a family of Reids, who forfeited the castle in 1746 because of their activities as Jacobites. It has not been occupied since 1760, when a new mansion was built. Affleck Castle is a well-preserved free-standing tower of four storeys and a parapeted garret. It is 18 m tal ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Colliston Castle

Colliston Castle is a 16th-century Z-plan tower house, altered and extended in the 18th and 19th centuries. Colliston was part of the lands of Arbroath Abbey from its foundation in the 12th century. On 25 July 1544, David Beaton, Abbot of Arbroath and Archbishop of St Andrews, granted the lands of Colliston, Knives, Park of Conon, and Guthrie Hill, to John Guthrie and his wife Isobel Ogilvie. Colliston was retained by th ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Arbroath, United Kingdom

Coxton Tower

Coxton Tower is a late sixteenth-century tower house in Moray. Heavily fortified, it was built around 1590, with substantive repairs in 1635 and 1645, but its design is reminiscent of much older buildings. It has not been occupied since around 1867 except to house Canadian soldiers during the Second World War, but was renovated in 2001 to help protect the fabric of the structure, which is designated a Category A listed bu ...
Founded: c. 1590 | Location: Elgin, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Petersberg Citadel

The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.

The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.