Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Caldicot Castle

Caldicot Castle is an extensive stone medieval castle, built near the site of Harold Godwinson"s former Saxon castle by the Norman earls of Hereford from about 1100. Humphrey III de Bohun was the probable builder, in about 1170, of the stone keep and curtain walls of the present-day castle. The Bohun family held the manor and castle of Caldicot for more than two centuries, over eight generations. In 1381, Essex was ...
Founded: c. 1170 | Location: Caldicot, United Kingdom

Carreg Cennen Castle

Carreg Cennen Castle near the River Cennen has been in a ruinous state since 1462 and is now in the care of Cadw, the Welsh Government historic environment service. Human remains found at the site date human activity here back to prehistoric times. The site may well have also been an Iron Age hillfort. Roman coins from the 1st and 2nd century have also been found, although it is unlikely the Romans occupied this site on ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Llandeilo, United Kingdom

Carew Castle

The site of Carew castle was used for military purposes extends back at least 2000 years. The famous Carew family, who take their name from this site, still own the castle and lease it to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park for administration. The castle stands on a limestone bluff overlooking the Carew inlet, part of the tidal estuary that makes up the Milford Haven Waterway. The site must have been recognised as s ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Carew, United Kingdom

Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle was the seat of Clan MacLeod chiefs. Dunvegan Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the stronghold of the chiefs of the clan for 800 years. A curtain wall was built round the hill in the 13th century around a former Norse fort which was only accessible through a sea gate. A castle was constructed within the curtain wall by Malcolm MacLeod around 1350. Today Dunvegan c ...
Founded: c. 1350 | Location: Isle of Skye, United Kingdom

Dornoch Castle

Dornoch Castle was built around 1500 as the home of the bishops of Caithness. Bishop Robert Stewart gifted the castle to John Gordon, 11th Earl of Sutherland in 1557. In 1570 the castle was set alight in a feud between the McKays and Murrays. The rebuilding which followed included the addition of the upper part of the tower. The castle decayed during the 18th century, but was restored in 1813–1814 to serve as a school a ...
Founded: c. 1500 | Location: Dornoch, United Kingdom

Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle is built around a 15th-century tower house, with substantial additions in later centuries. Originally a property of the Clan Calder, it passed to the Campbells in the 16th century. It remains in Campbell ownership, and is now home to the Dowager Countess Cawdor, stepmother of Colin Campbell, 7th Earl Cawdor. The castle is perhaps best known for its literary connection to William Shakespeare"s tragedy M ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Cawdor, United Kingdom

Peel Castle

Peel Castle was originally constructed by Vikings. The castle stands on St Patrick's Isle which is connected to the town by a causeway. It is open to visitors during the summer. The castle was built in the 11th century by the Vikings, under the rule of King Magnus Barefoot. While there were older stone Celtic monastic buildings on the island, the first Viking fortifications were built of wood. The prominent round ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Peel, United Kingdom

The Needles Batteries

The Needles Batteries are two military batteries built above the Needles stacks to guard the West end of the Solent. The field of fire was from approximately West South West clockwise to Northeast and they were designed to defend against enemy ships. The Old Battery was constructed between 1861 and 1863. It was equipped with six 7-inch Armstrong rifled breechloading guns. These were replaced by four 7-inch and two ...
Founded: 1861 | Location: England, United Kingdom

Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle is one of the most impressive, romantic and reputedly haunted castles in Scotland, home to the Bowes Lyon Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne for hundreds of years and with a splendid interior, and set in beautiful gardens and grounds near Forfar in Angus. The vicinity of Glamis Castle has prehistoric traces; for example, a noted intricately carved Pictish stone known as the Eassie Stone was found in a creek- ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Forfar, United Kingdom

Portencross Castle

Portencross Castle site has been fortified since the 11th century. The present tower castle is thought to date from the mid-14th century and later. It remained in use until it was unroofed by a great storm in 1739 and gradually became ruinous. In the castle"s earliest days, it was known as 'Arneil' and was held by the de Ross family. After the victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Seamill, United Kingdom

Enniskillen Castle

The first Enniskillen castle was built on this site by Hugh Macguire in 1428. It featured greatly in Irish rebellions against English rule in the 16th century and was taken after an eight-day siege in 1594. Captain William Cole remodelled and refurbished the castle adding the riverside tower at the south, known as the Watergate, in 1609. The castle was remodelled as “Castle Barracks” as part of the response to a thre ...
Founded: 1428 | Location: Enniskillen, United Kingdom

Laugharne Castle

The original Laugharne castle was established by 1116 as the castle of Robert Courtemain. The castle was also the meeting place of Henry II of England and Rhys ap Gruffudd in 1171–1172, where they agreed a treaty of peace. When Henry II of England died in 1189 the castle, along with St Clears and Llansteffan, were seized by Rhys ap Gruffudd of Deheubarth in the same year. The castle may have been burnt down at that time ...
Founded: 1116 | Location: Laugharne, United Kingdom

White Castle

White Castle was established by the Normans in the wake of the invasion of England in 1066, to protect the route from Wales to Hereford. Possibly commissioned by William fitz Osbern, the Earl of Hereford, it comprised three large earthworks with timber defences. In 1135, a major Welsh revolt took place and in response King Stephen brought together White Castle and its sister fortifications of Grosmont and Sken ...
Founded: c. 1067 | Location: Llantilio Crossenny, United Kingdom

Carmarthen Castle

Carmarthen Castle  was first built by Walter, Sheriff of Gloucester in the early 1100s. It was captured and destroyed on several occasions before being rebuilt in stone during the 1190s. The castle was captured by Owain Glyndŵr in 1405. Henry VII"s father died at Carmarthen Castle in 1456. During the Wars of the Roses the castle fell to William Herbert and, during the Civil War, was captured by Parliamentary forces ...
Founded: 1190s | Location: Carmarthen, United Kingdom

Chepstow Port Wall

The Port Wall in Chepstow is a late thirteenth century stone wall, which was constructed for the twin purposes of defence and tax collection by permitting users of the town"s market only one point of access through the wall at the Town Gate. The wall originally formed a semi-circle extending for some 1,100 metres, roughly southwards from Chepstow Castle to the River Wye. It enclosed an area of 53 hectares, including ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Chepstow, United Kingdom

Dunure Castle

Dunure Castle is located on the west coast of Scotland, about eight kilometres south of Ayr and close to the village of Dunure. Today the castle stands in ruins on a rocky promontory on the Carrick coast, overlooking the small harbour of Dunure. The site dates from the late 13th century; the earliest charter for the lands dating from 1256, but the remains of the building are of 15th- and 16th-century origin. One traditio ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ayr, United Kingdom

Broughty Castle

Broughty Castle was erected in 1490 by the 2nd Lord Gray, on a charter from James IV, in response to increased English naval activity. It was taken without a shot fired by the English in 1547, and reclaimed by the Scots two and a half years later. The castle fell back into English hands in 1651. In 1860 the threat of French invasion prompted Broughty’s conversion from a ruin to a modern artillery defence. The castle wa ...
Founded: 1490 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Ogmore Castle

Ogmore Castle construction might have begun in 1106. It was in use until the 19th century for a range of purposes, including a court of justice and a prison, but is now a substantial set of remains and a local landmark. The earthworks were steeply banked and oval in shape, enclosing an area of 50 m in length by 35 m in width. The inner ward was flat and constructed of timber structures. After completion of the ringwork, ...
Founded: 1106 | Location: Bridgend, United Kingdom

Belfast Castle

Belfast Castle is set on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park, providing views over the city of Belfast and Belfast Lough. The original castle, built in the late 12th century by the Normans, was located in the town itself, flanked by the modern day High Street, Castle Place and Donegall Place in what is now Belfast city centre. This was the home of The 1st Baron Chichester (better known as Sir Arthur Chichester), bu ...
Founded: 1811-1870 | Location: Belfast, United Kingdom

Dunrobin Castle

Dunrobin Castle is the most northerly of Scotland's great houses and the largest in the Northern Highlands with 189 rooms. It is also one of Britain's oldest continuously inhabited houses dating back to the early 1300s. Dunrobin Castle has been called home to the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland since the 13th century and was first mentioned as a stronghold of the family in 1401. The castle stands possibly on the site of an ...
Founded: 13th/19th century | Location: Highland, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Château d'Olhain

The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.

The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.

The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.

During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.