Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Cairnbulg Castle

Cairnbulg Castle is a z-plan castle situated in Cairnbulg, Aberdeenshire. Originally known as Philorth Castle, it was built in the early 14th century, destroyed in the winter of 1308–1309 in the Wars of Independence, and re-built by the Fraser family in 1380. Subsequently, a courtyard and outbuildings were added to the main tower. It is now open to the public by appointment only. Flora Fraser, 21st Lady Saltoun ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Cairnbulg, United Kingdom

Cluny Castle

Cluny Castle was originally built c.1604 by Sir Thomas Gordon as a Z-plan castle replacing either a house or small peel tower. Owned by three separate branches of Gordon families over the centuries, it was used to shelter Jacobite rebels in the mid-18th century. Extensive additions were made in 1820 to the design of architect John Smith when it was in the ownership of Colonel John Gordon. Two wings of the castl ...
Founded: 1604 | Location: Cluny, United Kingdom

Hatton Castle

Hatton Castle, formerly known as Balquholly Castle, origins from the early 1500s. Purchased by Alexander Duff of Hatton in 1709, the ownership has remained with members of the family into the 21st century. Construction of the present castellated mansion began in 1812 and was completed by 1814; it was at this time the name was changed to Hatton Castle. It has a round tower at each corner and incorporates sections of th ...
Founded: 1812-1814 | Location: Turriff, United Kingdom

Kinnairdy Castle

Kinnairdy Castle is built on land that belonged to the Innes family from the late 14th century; an earlier tower was probably built in about 1420, that replaced a wooden motte and bailey structure. The castle was sold by the Innes family to Sir James Crichton of Frendraught in 1629. Subsequently it came to the Reverend John Gregory in 1647, then passed to his brother David, a doctor who has been claimed to be const ...
Founded: 1420 | Location: Aberchirder, United Kingdom

Lauriston Castle

Once a royal fortress, Lauriston Castle can claim to be one of the oldest privately owned and inhabited castles in the region. By tradition, it was the stronghold of Giric, or Gregory the Great, one of the last of the Pictish kings (AD 878–889). The site of his church of Ecclesgreig is nearby and he gave his Latin name, Ciricius, to St. Cyrus. Lauriston’s first charter is dated 1243 and it soon developed into a c ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: St Cyrus, United Kingdom

Pittulie Castle

Pittulie Castle is an oblong tower house probably dating from the late 16th century. The present castle probably replaced a previous castle on the site. It is thought that the castle was built for the marriage of Alexander Fraser and Margaret Abernethy of Saltoun in 1596. The Cumines acquired and enlarged the property. It was purchased by Sir William Forbes towards the end of the 18th century, but subsequently aban ...
Founded: 1596 | Location: Rosehearty, United Kingdom

Ardgowan Castle

Ardgowan Castle is located in the grounds of Ardgowan House near Inverkip. In 1306, Inverkip was besieged by supporters of Robert Bruce, led by Robert Boyd of Cunningham. In 1403, King Robert III granted the lands of Ardgowan to his natural son, Sir John Stewart. The castle is dated to the late 15th century. In 1667 Archibald Stewart was created a baronet. The 3rd baronet married, in 1730, Helen Houston, heiress ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Inverkip, United Kingdom

Kirkistown Castle

Kirkistown Castle is an impressive three-storey tower house, built in 1622 by Roland Savage, a Norman landlord, at the site of a ninth-century round tower. It was occupied until 1731, when it was deserted. It post-dates the Plantation, but is fully in the late medieval tower-house tradition. Parts of the bawn wall survive with three-quarter round flanker towers at the angles. The tower was remodelled in Gothic style i ...
Founded: 1622 | Location: Cloghy, United Kingdom

Ballumbie Castle

Ballumbie Castle was built by the Lovell family in the 14th-16th centuries. The castle comprised a rectangular enclosure, approximately 21 metres on a side, with round corner towers, overlooking the Fithie Burn. In the early 17th century it passed to the Maule family, who became Earls of Panmure in 1646. The castle was reported as being ruined by 1682, although the remaining east and south walls were later incorporated i ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Braikie Castle

A heraldic panel over the door of Braikie Castle is dated 1581 and the castle dates from at least this date. It was built for Thomas Fraser of Kinnell the alleged son of the 4th Lord Lovat (as he does not appear in genealogies if true he is an illegitimate son) and is a good example of a fortified laird"s house of this period. The date 1581 forms part of a marriage lintel that combines the armorial crests of the Fras ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Arbroath, United Kingdom

Hatton Castle

Hatton Castle stands on the lower part of Hatton Hill, to the south of Newtyle. The lands were given to Sir William Olifard (8th chief) in 1317 by Robert the Bruce. The castle was built in 1575, commissioned by Laurence, fourth Lord Oliphant (1527–1593). Hatton Castle is unusual in that it contains a scale and platt staircase incorporated into its original construction. Such a feature was normally only included in larg ...
Founded: 1575 | Location: Newtyle, United Kingdom

Inverquharity Castle

Inverquharity Castle is a 15th-century tower house in Angus, Scotland. It lies around 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) north-east of Kirriemuir near the River South Esk. The lands of Inverquharity came to the Ogilvie family around 1420. The castle was first constructed as a rectangular tower in the 1440s, by Alexander Ogilvie, 2nd Lord Inverquharity. In the 16th century a wing was added to form a four-storey L-plan cas ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Kirriemuir, United Kingdom

Melgund Castle

Melgund Castle, lying around two kilometres due east of Aberlemno, is a 16th-century L-plan castle which has been partially restored as a private residence. The land was initially held by the Cramonds, but it passed to the Clan Bethune or Beaton. castle has been said to have been built in 1543 on the orders of Cardinal David Beaton, Archbishop of St Andrews and Chancellor of Scotland, as a home for himself and his mistre ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Aberlemno, United Kingdom

Gardyne Castle

Gardyne Castle was built by the Gardyne family, and an inscribed stone records the date 1568. The date stone also bears the arms of King James VI and the motto 'God save the King'. Together with the distinctive style of some of the architectural features, such as the conical-roofed bartizans, this suggests an attempt to link the building with Royal Stewart architecture, and with the new king, as opposed to his p ...
Founded: 1568 | Location: Friockheim, United Kingdom

Fordell Castle

Fordell Castle is a restored 16th-century tower house. The earliest charter in the Henderson of Fordell papers dates from 1217. It is not known when the original castle structure was constructed, but the main entrance tower is believed to date from the 1400s. James Henderson, 3rd of Fordell, started to extend the castle in 1566. In 1568 the castle was damaged by fire, then rebuilt. Evidence of the fire can be seen to the ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Pittarthie Castle

Pittarthie Castle was a laird’s fortified house in Fife. The present house was built for James Monypenny of Pitmilly c. 1580. There are substantial remains of the hilltop house, which is built in an 'L' plan with the jamb, its northwest corner bowed, attached to the southwest of the main block, and a stair tower in the inner angle. The stonework is good quality rubble with ashlar dressings. but much coarser ma ...
Founded: 1580 | Location: Dunino, United Kingdom

Plean Castle

Plean Tower comprises a small oblong tower house probably dating from the 15th century, and an adjoining 16th-century manor house. Robert Bruce granted the barony of Plean, or Plane, to John d’Erth soon after 1314. The castle was probably built by Lord Somerville, who acquired the lands of Plean in 1449, through marriage. An adjoining manor house was built in about 1528. In 1643 James Somervell, 8th Lord of Plane, sol ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Stirling, United Kingdom

Arnot Tower

Arnot Tower is a ruined 16th-century castle. The current building dates from c. 1507, though fortifications were present c. 1400. The castle has four storeys and a vaulted basement. It was built by the Arnot family who have records dating back to 1105. David Arnot of Fyfe was one of 2000 noble landowners required to swear allegiance to King Edward I of England in 1296. Nicol Arnot Arnot was a loyal supporter of King Robe ...
Founded: c. 1507 | Location: Scotlandwell, United Kingdom

Balthayock Castle

Balthayock Castle is a medieval tower built in late 14th century. It is said to have been owned by family of Blair since the time of William I (1165-1214). It was very ruinous prior to 1870. James Maclaren saved the tower by building the present battlements, modern roof, caphouse, forestair to the entrance and also altered the interior. It was inhabited until the middle of the last century. It is now unoccupied but is in ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Perth, United Kingdom

Cleish Castle

Cleish Castle is a 16th-century tower house in Kinross-shire built by the Colville family, who owned it until 1775. It was restored and remodelled in the mid 19th century, and restored again in the 20th century. It remains a private residence and is a category A listed building. The grounds of the castle are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, the national listing of significant Scott ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Kinross, 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.