Palaces, manors and town halls in United Kingdom

Pierhead Building

The Pierhead Building is one of Cardiff"s most familiar landmarks, built in 1897 as the headquarters for the Bute Dock Company. The Bute Dock Company was renamed the Cardiff Railway Company in 1897. A coat of arms on the building"s façade bears the company"s motto Wrth ddŵr a thân ('by water and fire'), encapsulating the elements creating the steam power which transformed Wales. The building be ...
Founded: 1897 | Location: Cardiff, 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

City Hall

City Hall is a civic building in Cathays Park, Cardiff, Wales, UK. It serves as Cardiff"s centre of local government. It was built as part of the Cathays Park civic centre development and opened in October 1906. Built of Portland stone, it is an important early example of the Edwardian Baroque style. The complex was commissioned to replace Cardiff"s fourth town hall on the western side of St Mary"s Street ...
Founded: 1906 | Location: Cardiff, United Kingdom

People's Palace

The People"s Palace and Winter Gardens in Glasgow is a museum and glasshouse situated in Glasgow Green, and was opened on 22 January 1898 by the Earl of Rosebery. It is home to a collection of objects, photographs, prints and film which give a unique view into how Glaswegians lived, worked and played in years gone by to the present day.
Founded: 1898 | Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom

Osborne House

Osborne House is a former royal residence in East Cowes, Isle of Wight. The house was built between 1845 and 1851 for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as a summer home and rural retreat. Albert designed the house himself, in the style of an Italian Renaissance palazzo. The builder was Thomas Cubitt, the London architect and builder whose company built the main facade of Buckingham Palace for the royal couple in 1847. An e ...
Founded: 1845-1851 | Location: East Cowes, 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

Dyffryn Estate & Gardens

Dyffryn Gardens is an estate and collection of botanical gardens located near the villages of Dyffryn and St. Nicholas. The Dyffryn Estate dates back to 640 A.D. when the Manor of Worlton was granted to Bishop Oudoceus of Llandaff. In the 16th century the Manor of Worlton was rented under copyhold by the Button family who occupied the estate for a number of generations. The name of the Manor of Worlton was changed to th ...
Founded: 19th century | Location: Cardiff, United Kingdom

Bishop's Palace

The Bishop"s Palace is the ruined residence of the bishops of Llandaff. It is located a short distance to the south of Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff, Wales. The twin-towered gatehouse is one of the few remaining structures. The surviving gatehouse resembles the architecture of Caerphilly Castle, which may indicate that the same master mason worked on both fortifications. This would date the Palace to the time of Wil ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cardiff, United Kingdom

Tredegar House

Tredegar House (is a 17th-century Charles II-era mansion. For over five hundred years it was home to the Morgan family, later Lords Tredegar; one of the most powerful and influential families in the area. The mansion stands in a reduced landscaped garden forming the non-residential part of Tredegar Park. The earliest surviving part of the building dates back to the late 15th century. The house was originally built of sto ...
Founded: 1664 | Location: Newport, 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

Bonnington House

Bonnington House is a 19th-century country house near Wilkieston. The house was built in 1622, and was the home of the Foulis Baronets of Colinton. Sir James Foulis, 2nd Baronet, served as Lord Justice Clerk from 1684 to 1688, taking the title Lord Colinton. Bonnington later passed to the Wilkies of Ormiston. The house passed from the Scott family to Hugh Cunningham, Lord Provost of Edinburgh around 1702. It is said to h ...
Founded: 1622 | Location: Wilkieston, 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

Florence Court

The history of the building of Florence Court is subject to conjecture and the current house was built in at least two, if not three, phases. The first house on the site was built by John Cole, Esq. (1680–1726) and named after his wife Florence Bourchier Wrey (died 1718). She was the daughter of Sir Bourchier Wrey, 4th Baronet (c. 1653–1696) of Tawstock, Devon. The central block was built first and various dates from ...
Founded: 1730-1764 | Location: Enniskillen, United Kingdom

Tretower Court

Tretower Court is a medieval fortified manor house in the village of Tretower. The Court evolved from the adjacent Tretower Castle site and is a very rare example of its type, in that it shows the way in which a castle gradually developed into another significant type of medieval building, the fortified manor house or defended house. It is also a rare survival, escaping destruction in wars or conflicts, partial damage or ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Cwmdu, United Kingdom

Margam Castle

Margam Castle is a Victorian era country house built for Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot. Designed by Thomas Hopper, the castle was constructed in a Tudor Revival style over a ten-year period, from 1830 to 1840. The site had been occupied for some 4,000 years. A Grade I listed building, the castle is now in the care of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.
Founded: 1830-1840 | Location: Port Talbot, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Varberg Fortress

Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.

King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.

The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.

It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.