Palaces, manors and town halls in United Kingdom

Belfast City Hall

The site now occupied by Belfast City Hall was once the home of the White Linen Hall, an important international Linen Exchange. Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. This was in recognition of Belfast"s rapid expansion and thriving linen, rope-making, shipbuilding and engineering industries. Construction began in 1898 under the supervision of architect ...
Founded: 1898 | Location: Belfast, United Kingdom

Holyrood Palace

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century, and is a setting for state occasions and official entertaining. Queen Elizabeth spends ...
Founded: 1671-1678 | Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Dunfermline Palace

Dunfermline Palace is a ruined former Scottish royal palace and important tourist attraction in Dunfermline. Dunfermline was a favourite residence of many Scottish monarchs. Documented history of royal residence there begins in the 11th century with Malcolm III who made it his capital. His seat was the nearby Malcolm"s Tower, a few hundred yards to the west of the later palace. In the medieval period David II  ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Culross Palace

Culross Palace is a late 16th - early 17th century merchant"s house in Culross. The palace, or 'Great Lodging', was constructed between 1597 and 1611 by Sir George Bruce, the Laird of Carnock. Bruce was a successful merchant who had a flourishing trade with other Forth ports, the Low Countries and Sweden. He had interests in coal mining, salt production, and shipping, and is credited with sinking the world ...
Founded: 1597-1611 | Location: Culross, United Kingdom

Falkland Palace

Falkland Palace is a royal palace of the Scottish Kings. Before Falkland Palace was built a hunting lodge existed on the site in the 12th century. This lodge was expanded in the 13th century and became a castle which was owned by the Earls of Fife, the famous Clan MacDuff. Between 1501 and 1541 Kings James IV and James V transformed the old castle into a beautiful renaissance royal palace. Falkland was included in the &a ...
Founded: 1501-1541 | Location: Falkland, United Kingdom

Callendar House

Callendar House is a mansion set within the grounds of Callendar Park in Falkirk. During the 19th century, it was redesigned and extended in the style of a French Renaissance château fused with elements of Scottish baronial architecture. However, the core of the building is a 14th-century tower house. The house lies on the line of the 2nd-century Antonine Wall, built by the Romans from the Firth of Clyde to the Firth of ...
Founded: 1877 | Location: Falkirk, United Kingdom

Armadale Castle

Armadale Castle is a ruined country house and the former home of the MacDonalds clan. A mansion house was first built here around 1790. In 1815 a Scottish baronial style mock-castle, intended for show rather than defense, designed by James Gillespie Graham, was built next to the house. After 1855 the part of the house destroyed by fire was replaced by a central wing, designed by David Bryce. Since 1925 the castle, abando ...
Founded: 1790 | Location: Isle of Skye, United Kingdom

Kinloch Castle

Kinloch Castle is a late Victorian mansion built as a private residence for Sir George Bullough, a textile tycoon from Lancashire whose father bought Rùm island as his summer residence and shooting estate. Construction began in 1897, and was completed in 1900. Built as a luxurious retreat, Kinloch Castle has since declined. The castle and island are now owned by Scottish Natural Heritage, and part of the castle ope ...
Founded: 1897-1900 | Location: Isle Of Rum, United Kingdom

House of Dun

The Dun Estate was home to the Erskine (later Kennedy-Erskine) family from 1375 until 1980. John Erskine of Dun was a key figure in the Scottish Reformation. The current house was designed by William Adam and was finished in 1743. There is elaborate plaster-work by Joseph Enzer, principally and most elaborately in the saloon. The house replaced the original 14th century Tower House to the west when David Erskine, Lord Dun ...
Founded: 1743 | Location: Montrose, United Kingdom

Sausmarez Manor

The first mention of the de Sausmarez family in Guernsey is at the consecration of the Vale church in 1115 followed by a letter dated 1254 in which Prince Edward, Lord of the Isles, afterwards King Edward I, ordered an enquiry into the rights of the Abbot and Monks of St. Michel to 'wreck' in the Islands of Guernsey and Jersey. Of this oldest manor house only a fragment remains. Its rough but remarkably solid st ...
Founded: 1873 | Location: Guernsey, United Kingdom

Castle Ward

Castle Ward has been the home of the Ward family since ca. 1570. Known originally as Carrick na Sheannagh and owned by the Earls of Kildare, it was bought by Bernard Ward, father of Sir Robert Ward, Surveyor-General of Ireland. The 850 acre walled demesne also dates from the 16th century. The Ward family built a succession of homes in their estate; Old Castle Ward, built about 1590 near to Strangford Lough, still surviv ...
Founded: 1760s | Location: Strangford, United Kingdom

Taymouth Castle

Taymouth Castle lies on the south bank of the River Tay, about a mile from Loch Tay, in the heartland of the Grampian Mountains. Taymouth Castle stands on the site of the much older Balloch Castle, which was built in 1552, as the seat of the Campbell clan. In the early 19th century, Balloch Castle was demolished by the Campbells of Breadalbane, so that the new, much larger castle could be rebuilt on the site. The new cas ...
Founded: 1806 | Location: Kenmore, United Kingdom

Airthrey Castle

Airthrey Castle is a historic building and estate which now forms part of the buildings and grounds of the University of Stirling in central Scotland. It first appears in documents around 1370 and passed through different hands before becoming part of the graham estate and then afterwards to Earl of Hope of Hopetoun House fame.  The present structure was designed by the architect Robert Adam in 1791 although the house ...
Founded: 1791 | Location: Stirling, United Kingdom

Ross Priory

Ross Priory is an early 19th-century country house located west of Gartocharn, West Dunbartonshire. From the 14th century the estate, known as The Ross, was owned by a branch of the Buchanan family of Buchanan Castle, who built a house here in 1695. The present house is the result of remodelling by James Gillespie Graham and was complete in 1816. The term 'priory' does not imply ecclesiastical provenance, but is ...
Founded: 1816 | Location: Gartocharn, United Kingdom

Glengorm Castle

Glengorm Castle, also known as Castle Sorn, is a 19th-century country house. The Mishnish estate was purchased in 1856 by James Forsyth of Quinish. He cleared the existing township of Sorne to make way for the new house, which was completed in 1860. The house was designed by Kinnear and Peddie in a Scots Baronial style. It is now operated as a guest house and wedding venue, with a cafe and shop in the former stables. The ...
Founded: 1860 | Location: Isle of Mull, United Kingdom

Overtoun House

Overtoun House is a 19th-century country house and estate in West Dunbartonshire. The house, an example of Scottish Baronial architecture, was built in the 1860s, and was donated to the people of Dumbarton in 1938. It was subsequently a maternity hospital, and now houses a Christian centre. The house is protected as a category A listed building, while the grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Lands ...
Founded: 1860s | Location: Dumbarton, United Kingdom

Torosay Castle

Torosay Castle was designed by architect David Bryce for John Campbell of Possil in the Scottish Baronial style, and completed in 1858. Torosay is surrounded by 4.9 ha of spectacular gardens including formal terraces laid out at the turn of the 20th century and attributed to Sir Robert Lorimer. The castle and gardens used to be open to the public, being linked to the Craignure ferry terminal by the Isle of Mull Railway. ...
Founded: 1858 | Location: Isle of Mull, United Kingdom

Amhuinnsuidhe Castle

Amhuinnsuidhe Castle is a large private country house on the Isle of Harris, one of the Western Isles of Scotland. The house was built in 1865 for the 7th Earl of Dunmore, the then owner of the island. Amhuinnsuidhe was designed in the Scottish baronial style by architect David Bryce. In 2003 Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Estate purchased the castle and the fishing rights. The castle is now operated as a venue for shooting parties ...
Founded: 1865 | Location: Outer Hebrides, United Kingdom

Balcaskie

Balcaskie is a 17th-century country house 2 km north of St Monans, and is notable chiefly as the home and early work of architect Sir William Bruce. The original Balcaskie House was built shortly before 1629, as the home of the Moncrieffs of Balcaskie, and was a traditional L-plan fortified house of three storeys and attic. In 1665 the estate was bought by William Bruce, who began enlarging the house for his own use, b ...
Founded: c. 1628 | Location: St Monans, United Kingdom

Stormont Castle

Stormont Castle is a mansion in east Belfast which is used as the main meeting place of the Northern Ireland Executive. It was never a castle as such: the original building was reworked in the nineteenth century in the Scottish baronial style with features such as bartizans used for decorative purposes. Between 1921 and 1972, it served as the official residence of the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. However, ...
Founded: 1830 | Location: Belfast, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Easter Aquhorthies Stone Circle

Easter Aquhorthies stone circle, located near Inverurie, is one of the best-preserved examples of a recumbent stone circle, and one of the few that still have their full complement of stones. It consists of a ring of nine stones, eight of which are grey granite and one red jasper. Two more grey granite stones flank a recumbent of red granite flecked with crystals and lines of quartz. The circle is particularly notable for its builders' use of polychromy in the stones, with the reddish ones situated on the SSW side and the grey ones opposite.

The placename Aquhorthies derives from a Scottish Gaelic word meaning 'field of prayer', and may indicate a 'long continuity of sanctity' between the Stone or Bronze Age circle builders and their much later Gaelic successors millennia later. The circle's surroundings were landscaped in the late 19th century, and it sits within a small fenced and walled enclosure. A stone dyke, known as a roundel, was built around the circle some time between 1847 and 1866–7.