Palaces, manors and town halls in United Kingdom

Newbattle Abbey

Newbattle Abbey was founded in 1140 by monks from Melrose Abbey. The abbey was burned by English royal forces in 1385 and once more in 1544. It became a secular lordship for the last commendator, Mark Kerr in 1587. After the Reformation most of the remains of the Abbey church were removed and used to build a new church. Little is known about the Newbattle church built after the Reformation. It was situated somewhere on ...
Founded: 1729 | Location: Dalkeith, United Kingdom

Dalmeny House

Dalmeny House is a Gothic revival mansion located in an estate close to Dalmeny on the Firth of Forth. It was designed by William Wilkins, and completed in 1817. Dalmeny House is the home of the Earl and Countess of Rosebery. The house was the first in Scotland to be built in the Tudor Revival style. It provided more comfortable accommodation than the former ancestral residence, Barnbougle Castle, which still stands close ...
Founded: 1817 | Location: Dalmeny, 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

House of the Binns

The House of the Binns  dates from the early 17th century, and was the home of Tam Dalyell until his death in January 2017. Perhaps inhabited since prehistoric times, Binns Hill may have been the site of a Pictish fort. Written records begin in 1335. There was certainly a manor house here by 1478. In 1612 the estate was purchased by a wealthy and well-connected Edinburgh burgess, Thomas Dalyell. Between 1621 and 1630, ...
Founded: 1621-1630 | Location: Blackness, United Kingdom

Dalkeith Palace

Dalkeith Castle was located to the north east of Dalkeith, and was originally in the hands of the Clan Graham in the 12th century and given to the Clan Douglas in the early 14th century. James Douglas of Dalkeith became the Earl of Morton in the mid 15th century. The castle was strategically located in an easily defensible position above a bend in the River North Esk. In 1642, Dalkeith Castle was sold by the Douglas fami ...
Founded: 1702 | Location: Dalkeith, 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

Blackhall Manor

Blackhall Manor is a tower house near Paisley. The first house on the site was built by the Norman knight Walter fitz Alan in about 1160. In 1396 Robert III of Scotland, King of Scots, gave the property to Sir John Stewart, his natural son. According to a record book now lost, barony courts were regularly held there in the sixteenth century. In 1667 Archibald Stewart was made a Baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles II, and w ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Paisley, 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

Dalnair House

Dalnair Castle, also known as Dalnair House, is a Scottish baronial castle. It was built for a Glaswegian merchant named Thomas Brown around 1884 on the site of the former much smaller Endrickbank House. The property survived a major fire that engulfed it in 1917. At the time of the fire the building belonged to Henry Christie, a calico printer, who owned it until the 1940s. The castle then passed into the hands of the ...
Founded: 1884 | Location: Drymen, United Kingdom

Fasque House

Fasque was the property of the Ramsays of Balmain, and the present house was completed around 1809, replacing an earlier house. It was purchased in 1829 by Sir John Gladstone, 1st Baronet, father of William Ewart Gladstone, later Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who often stayed there. Fasque was a family home of the Gladstones until the 1930s, and was open to the public during the last quarter of the 20th centur ...
Founded: 1809 | Location: Fettercairn, United Kingdom

Finlaystone House

Finlaystone House is a mansion and estate in the Inverclyde council area. Finlaystone was a property of the Dennistoun family, and passed to the Cunninghams in the 15th century. It was the seat of the Earl of Glencairn until 1796, and is now the property of the Chief of Clan MacMillan. In the late 14th century, King Robert II confirmed a grant of the lands of Finlaystone to Sir John de Danyelstoun. He was succeed ...
Founded: 1764 | Location: Port Glasgow, United Kingdom

Melville Castle

An earlier tower house on the site of current Melville Castle was demolished when the present structure, designed in 1786–1791 by James Playfair for Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, was built. The original tower house was owned by the Melville family, before passing to Sir John Ross in the 14th century. It subsequently changed hands with the attached lands several times and was sold to David Rannie in 1705. It then ...
Founded: 1786 | Location: Dalkeith, United Kingdom

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.