The castle, or rather a fortified court in Candleston, was founded in the 14th century on the initiative of the Cantilupe family. It could have been built on the site of an earlier building from the 13th century. At the end of the fifteenth century, it was renovated and rebuilt by Mathew Cradock, a constable of castles in Caerphilly and Kenfig, and around 1500 transformations were made in the range of the great hall. Further modifications were carried out in the 17th century, when a new range was added next to the hall building. The lands of the estate in the Middle Ages were covered with sand from nearby dunes and lost their value, but the building remained inhabited until the 19th century. The last person living in the court was Sir John Nichol. When in 1808 he built a new residence, Candleston was sold and used by new owners as a farm. Eventually it was abandoned at the end of the 19th century and fell into disrepair.



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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

David Nurse (5 months ago)
Fantastic place to visit. Very easy with the castle almost in the car park. No money taken in the car park machines, card payments. The road to the car park is narrow but there are many passing places please drive with extra care as there are a lot of hikers /walkers enjoying the area. The castle is not actually a castle but an old fortified Manor House. Lots of information and history are readily available online if you search. Be minded this is a ruin but there is much to see here. The surrounding area is great for walks, especially with dogs, walking is popular here. A short distance is also the large sand dune known locally as The Big Dipper.
Deian Lye-Vella (5 months ago)
Beware the car park! Full of pot holes, exposed tree roots and a toilet straight from… well, a time that was common with castles. The signage is minimal and unclear and if you miss them a hefty fine will be on it’s way to you in the post. With all those fines collected you’d think the car park would be in decent order but no. Shame really as the Castle and surrounding areas are lovely and certainly worth a a visit.
David bw Rees (6 months ago)
Amazing place full of history ?????????
k seamus (6 months ago)
Lovely secluded place for great walks. Car park is very bumpy so take it slow. Toilets on site. Castle ruins are worth an explore as are the sand dunes. If you are feeling energetic a walk to the beach is clearly marked.
Mig Long (11 months ago)
I'd give the castle 7/10 - interesting but a bit messy and quite small. But the area, including enormous sand dunes and amazing views is spectacular! Bring a sledge...
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.