Castles and fortifications in 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

Castle Leod

Castle Leod is the seat of the Clan Mackenzie. The castle is believed to have been built on the site of a very ancient Pictish fort from before the 12th century. The current castle is the result of work carried out in the early 17th century by Sir Roderick Mackenzie. The castle has remained the seat of the Earls of Cromartie ever since. In 1746 George Mackenzie, 3rd Earl of Cromartie, forfeited the estate, following his ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Moniack Castle

Moniack Castle is a tower house built in 1580 by members of the Clan Fraser. Today the castle grounds comprise a winery, which is still owned and operated by Frasers. The L-plan castle has been altered many times since its construction. The crenellated parapet was added in 1804 and the castle was extended in the 1830s. The interiors include a Roman Catholic chapel. In the grounds of the castle is the Balblair Stone, a Pic ...
Founded: 1580 | Location: Inverness, United Kingdom

Kilcoy Castle

Kilcoy Castle was built around 1580 by the Stewart family, and completed by Alexander Mackenzie, third son of Colin Cam Mackenzie of Kintail around 1618. As a result of his marriage (contract 15 August 1611) to the widow of Sir James Stewart of Kilcoy, he had a charter of the lands of Kilcoy dated 18 July 1616 and a further charter of the Barony of Kilcoy dated 29 January 1618. The estates passed through the male line of ...
Founded: 1580 | Location: Tore, United Kingdom

Birse Castle

Birse Castle is located in the Forest of Birse, Aberdeenshire. The original structure was a square three-storey tower house with turrets and a corbelled circular tower at the south east. The building is owned by Viscount Cowdry, Dunecht House, Dunecht, Aberdeen. The castle was built about 1600 for the Gordons of Cluny. When the Gordons built Birse Castle, they encroached upon The Forest of Birse, which consisted of about ...
Founded: 1600 | Location: Forest of Birse, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Seaplane Harbour Museum

The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.

British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.

Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.

Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.

Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.

On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.