Top 10 most beautiful castles in United Kingdom
England, Scotland and Wales have a great history. That is why, the first thing a lot of people think about Great Britain is castles and medieval fortresses. Explore the mysteries and secrets of Britain's most famous castles.
Herstmonceux Castle is one of the oldest significant brick buildings still standing in England; brick was an unusual material for the time in Britain. The builders of Herstmonceux Castle concentrated more on grandeur and comfort than on defence.
Herstmonceux Castle is home to events throughout the year, including the annual England's Medieval Festival on August Bank Holiday weekend.... view details
Orford Castle was built between 1165 and 1173 by Henry II of England to consolidate royal power in the region.
The well-preserved keep, described by historian R. Allen Brown as "one of the most remarkable keeps in England", is of a unique design and probably based on Byzantine architecture. The keep still stands among the earth-covered remains of the outer fortifications.... view details
Pendennis Castle is an artillery fort constructed by Henry VIII near Falmouth, Cornwall, between 1540 and 1542. It formed part of the King's Device programme to protect against invasion from France and the Holy Roman Empire, and defended the Carrick Roads waterway at the mouth of the River Fal.
The castle saw service during both the First and Second World Wars, but in 1956, by now obsolete, it was decommissioned. In the 21st century, the castle is managed by English Heritage as a tourist attraction, receiving about 75.000 visitors a year.
The heritage agency Historic England considers Pendennis to be "one of the finest examples of a post-medieval defensive promontory fort in the country".... view details
Castle Stalker is a four-story tower house or keep picturesquely set on a tidal islet on Loch Laich, an inlet off Loch Linnhe. The islet is accessible (with difficulty) from the shore at low tide. The name "Stalker" comes from the Gaelic Stalcaire, meaning "hunter" or "falconer".
The island castle's picturesque appearance, with its bewitching island setting against a dramatic backdrop of mountains, has made it a favourite subject for postcards and calendars, and something of a cliche image of Scottish Highland scenery. Castle Stalker is entirely authentic; it is one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland.
In recent times, the castle was brought to fame by the Monty Python team, appearing in their film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.... view details
Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from an original built by William the Conqueror in 1068. During the Hundred Years War, the facade opposite the town was refortified, resulting in one of the most recognisable examples of 14th century military architecture.
In 2001, Warwick Castle was named one of Britain's "Top 10 historic houses and monuments" by the British Tourist Authority; the list included Tower of London, Stonehenge, and Edinburgh Castle. Warwick Castle was recognised as Britain's best castle by the Good Britain Guide 2003.
Around this time it was getting in excess of half a million visitors a year.... view details
The Tower of London is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England.
The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although that was not its primary purpose.
A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.
The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of England.
Today the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions. Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower, it is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site.... view details
Balmoral Castle has been one of the residences for members of the British Royal Family since 1852, when the estate and its original castle were purchased privately by Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria.
They remain as the private property of the royal family and are not the property of the Crown. Soon after the estate was purchased by the royal family, the existing house was found to be too small and the current Balmoral Castle was commissioned.
The castle is an example of Scots Baronial architecture, and is classified by Historic Scotland as a category A listed building. The new castle was completed in 1856 and the old castle demolished shortly thereafter.... view details
Bodiam Castle was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, with the permission of Richard II, ostensibly to defend the area against French invasion during the Hundred Years War.
Its structure, details and situation in an artificial watery landscape indicate that display was an important aspect of the castle's design as well as defence. The castle is protected as a Grade I listed building and is open to the public.... view details
Windsor Castle is a royal residence, notable for its long association with the English and later British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror.
Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by the reigning monarch and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle State Apartments are considered by many historians as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste.
It is a popular tourist attraction, a venue for hosting state visits, and the preferred weekend home of Elizabeth II. Today, more than 500 people live and work in Windsor Castle - the largest inhabited castle in the world.... view details
Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, from its position on the Castle Rock. There has been a royal castle on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until 1633.
As one of the most important strongholds in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century to the Jacobite Rising of 1745. Research undertaken in 2014 identified 26 sieges in its 1100-year-old history, giving it a claim to having been "the most besieged place in Great Britain and one of the most attacked in the world".
The castle, in the care of Historic Scotland, is Scotland's most-visited paid tourist attraction, with over 1.4 million visitors in 2013. The castle has become a recognisable symbol of Edinburgh and of Scotland and indeed, it is Edinburgh's most frequently visited visitor attraction; according to the Edinburgh Visitor Survey, more than 70% of leisure visitors to Edinburgh visited the castle.... view details
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