Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

Finlarig Castle

Finlarig Castle is an early 17th-century castle standing on a mound on a peninsula between the River Lochay and Loch Tay. Built in 1629 by "Black" Duncan Campbell (Donnchadh Dubh) of Glenorchy, the castle is an L-plan tower-house, formerly protected by an outer enclosure or barmekin, which is now in a dangerously ruinous condition. It was one of many strongholds built in Argyll and Perthshire by the Campbells of ...
Founded: 1629 | Location: Killin, United Kingdom

Loughor Castle

Loughor Castle is a ruined, medieval fortification built around 1106 by the Anglo-Norman lord Henry de Beaumont, during the Norman invasion of Wales. The site overlooked the River Loughor and controlled a strategic road and ford running across the Gower Peninsula. The castle was designed as an oval ringwork, probably topped by wicker fence defences, and reused the remains of the former Roman fort of Leucarum. Over the ne ...
Founded: c. 1106 | Location: Loughor, United Kingdom

Fort Grey

Fort Grey is a Martello tower located on a rock in Rocquaine Bay. It was previously the site of local witches' Sabbaths. The existing fort, with its white tower was originally built as a defence by the British in 1804 during the Napoleonic Wars, it was named after Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey, who was Governor of Guernsey from 1797 to 1807. The Fort Grey tower, like the other two Guernsey Martello towers, Fort Saumarez an ...
Founded: 1804 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Craigievar Castle

Craigievar Castle was the seat of Clan Sempill and the Forbes family resided here for 350 years until 1963, when the property was given to the National Trust for Scotland. The setting is among scenic rolling foothills of the Grampian Mountains. The contrast of its massive lower storey structure to the finely sculpted multiple turrets, gargoyles and high corbelling work create a classic fairytale appearance. An e ...
Founded: 1626 | Location: Alford, United Kingdom

Alloa Tower

Alloa Tower is an early 14th century tower house that served as the medieval residence of the Erskine family, later Earls of Mar. Retaining its original timber roof and battlements, the tower is one of the earliest, and largest, of Scottish tower houses, with immensely thick walls. It was originally built as part of a line of fortifications defending the north shore of the Firth of Forth. Several 19th century works, incl ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Alloa, United Kingdom

Pennard Castle

Pennard Castle is a ruined castle, near the modern village of Pennard on the Gower Peninsula. The castle was built in the early 12th century as a timber ringwork following the Norman invasion of Wales. The walls were rebuilt in stone by the Braose family at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, including a stone gatehouse. Soon afterwards, however, encroaching sand dunes caused the site to be abandoned and it fell into ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Gower Peninsula, United Kingdom

Saddell Castle

Saddell Castle was built by David Hamilton, Bishop of Argyll, between 1508 and 1512 from the stones of the ruined Saddell Abbey. The castle was gifted to James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran by Bishop James Hamilton, as payment of debts and taxes in 1556. The Earl of Arran exchanged it with the Chief of Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg, James MacDonald in exchange for James"s lands on the Isle of Arran. The castle was ransack ...
Founded: 1508-1512 | Location: Argyll and Bute, United Kingdom

Dundrum Castle

Dundrum Castle, situated above the town of Dundrum, County Down, Northern Ireland, should not to be confused with Dundrum Castle in Dundrum, County Dublin. It was constructed by John de Courcy, sometime near the beginning of the 13th century, following his invasion of Ulster. The castle, built to control access into Lecale from the west and south, stands on the top of a rocky hill commanding fine views south over D ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dundrum, United Kingdom

Spynie Castle

Spynie Castle was the fortified seat of the Bishops of Moray for about 500. The founding of the palace dates back to the late 12th Century. It is situated about 500m from the location of the first officially settled Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Moray, in present-day Spynie Churchyard. The first castle was a wooden structure built in the late 12th century. The excavated evidence suggests that the buildings were surr ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Elgin, United Kingdom

Corgarff Castle

Corgarff Castle is located at Corgarff, in Aberdeenshire. The castle was built in the mid-16th century by the Forbes of Towie. In 1571 it was burned by their enemy, Adam Gordon of Auchindoun, resulting in the deaths of Lady Forbes, her children, and numerous others, and giving rise to the ballad Edom o Gordon. After the Jacobite risings of the 18th century, it was rebuilt as a barracks and a detachment of governmen ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Corgarff, United Kingdom

Newark Castle

Newark Castle is a ruin located just west of St Monans, on the east coast of Fife. The building stands in a dramatic location, overlooking the North Sea. The upper storeys are ruinous, but vaulted cellars survive, hidden from view. Building on the site probably dates back to the 13th century, at which time the Scottish king Alexander III (1241–1286) spent some of his childhood there. The current building was begun i ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: St Monans, United Kingdom

Megginch Castle

Megginch Castle is a 15th-century castle in Perth and Kinross. It was the family home of Cherry Drummond, 16th Baroness Strange. Megginch Castle is a private family home, which is only open for special events. The gardens are home to trees such as ancient yews, there is a topiary, and in the spring there is an extensive display of daffodils. The orchard contains two National Plant Collections of Scottish apples, and pears ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Errol, United Kingdom

Claypotts Castle

Claypotts Castle is one of the best-preserved examples of a 16th-century Z-plan tower house in Scotland. Now surrounded by modern housing, the castle is maintained as an Ancient Monument by Historic Environment Scotland. The castle was originally built by John Strachan around 1569–1588 according to dates inscribed on stones that make up parts of the castle, which make its construction longer than usual for such a small ...
Founded: 1569-1588 | Location: Dundee, United Kingdom

Midhope Castle

Midhope Castle is a 16th-century tower house in Scotland. The derelict castle that can be seen today represents the much-altered 5-storey, oblong tower house. In 1678, Midhope was given a facelift when an entrance tower was removed and the extension to the east was heightened and extended. A new doorway was added along with a small courtyard. In the 15th-century Midhope belonged to the Martin family. During the latter 1 ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: South Queensferry, United Kingdom

Tolquhon Castle

Tolquhon Castle was built by William Forbes, 7th Laird of Tolquhon, between 1584 and 1589 as an extension to the earlier tower house known as Preston's Tower. Although ruined, the castle has been described as the most characteristic château of the Scots Renaissance. It is in the care of Historic Scotland and is open to the public. After William Forbes' death his descendants continued to occupy Tolquhon until 1718, w ...
Founded: 1584-1589 | Location: Pitmedden, United Kingdom

Balloch Castle

Balloch Castle is an early 19th-century country house situated at the southern tip of Loch Lomond. Balloch was a property of the Lennox family from the 11th century, and the old castle was built in the 13th century. In the 19th century the estate was purchased by John Buchanan of Ardoch, who demolished the ruins of the old castle and erected the present building. The Tudor Gothic architecture is the work of Robert Lu ...
Founded: 1808-1809 | Location: Balloch, United Kingdom

Merchiston Tower

Merchiston Tower was probably built by Alexander Napier, the second Laird of Merchiston around 1454. It serves as the seat for Clan Napier. It is perhaps most notable for being the home of John Napier, the 8th Laird of Merchiston, inventor of logarithms who was born there in 1550. Merchiston was probably built as a country house, but its strategic position and the turbulent political situation required it to be heavily f ...
Founded: c. 1454 | Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Llawhaden Castle

A motte-and-bailey castle is thought to have previously occupied the site  of Llawhaden Castle and the present structure was built by the bishops of the Diocese of St David in the 13th century. The castle was abandoned in the 16th century and some of the stone was removed for local building projects. The site is privately owned by the Lord of the Manor of Llawhaden and managed by Cadw. The remaining ruins date from the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Llawhaden, United Kingdom

Macduff's Castle

MacDuff"s Castle ruins is associated with the MacDuff Earls of Fife, the most powerful family in Fife in the Middle Ages. It is thought that a castle may have been built here by the MacDuff Mormaers, or Earls, of Fife in the 11th century, at the time of King Macbeth of Scotland (d. 1057). The Wemyss family, descendants of the MacDuffs, owned the property from the 14th century, and built the earliest part of the pres ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: East Wemyss, United Kingdom

Culcreuch Castle

Culcreuch Castle was built in 1296 by Maurice Galbraith. It was the clan seat of Clan Galbraith from 1320 to 1624, when it was sold to a cousin, Alexander Seton of Gargunnock, to settle a financial debt. In 1632, it was purchased by Robert Napier, a younger son of John Napier, the 8th Laird of Merchiston. The Napier family held the estate for five generations. The castle was used to garrison Oliver Cromwell’s tr ...
Founded: 1296 | Location: Fintry, 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.