Castles and forts

Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritage
Find places to visit in Britain by name, location, type of attraction, or other keyword.

This listings directory of over 950 entries is being phased out.
It now excludes places and things of interest in North East  and North West England.
These can be found in ABAB’s Places.
Places to visit in Yorkshire  are currently being moved to ABAB’s Places.

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ANTONINE WALL

The Antonine Wall has World Heritage status alongside Hadrian's Wall to the south. It was built in 140 AD on the orders of Hadrian’s successor, Emperor Antoninus Pius. It ran 37 miles (60km) from Old Kilpatrick in the west to near Bo’ness in the east and formed the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire, but was abandoned after 20 years and the frontier shifted back south to Hadrian’s Wall. Unlike the latter, the Antonine Wall was constructed mostly out of layers of turf. These ramparts reached a height of almost 10 feet (3 m). In front, to the north, ran an enormous ditch, up to 16 feet (5 m) deep. Behind the wall ran a road to enable the movement of troops and supplies. There were 17 manned forts along the wall, plus additional ‘fortlets’. The Antonine Wall website calls it “the biggest, most awe-inspiring building project the people of Scotland had ever seen” – which is true but for the fact that Scotland did not exist at the time. There are several stretches of the wall that can be seen today – one of the best is at Rough Castle (address below). See the World Heritage website for details of all locations. The largest collection of Antonine Wall artefacts is held by the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Bonnyside Road
Bonnybridge
County
Stirlingshire
Post Code
FK4 2AA
Main Historic Period
Roman
Tip/Nearby
Runs through Scotland's Central Belt.
Primary Management
Historic Scotland
Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle, dating from 1068, has been the seat of the Duke of Norfolk, head of the powerful Howard family, for over 850 years. The Howards have been soldiers, sailors, poets - and plotters. The Duke of Norfolk is considered the premier duke of England and has the hereditary title of Earl Marshal of England, responsible for major state occasions - such as coronations. The castle was besieged twice in the Civil War (once by each side) and was greatly restored in Victorian times and looks like something from a Hollywood movie. It is famous for its artwork, furnishings, armoury and includes attractive gardens. Not to be missed is the medieval Fitzalan Chapel, the burial place of the Dukes of Norfolk.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Arundel
County
West Sussex
Post Code
BN18 9AB
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Chichester, Bosham
Primary Management
Independent – Historic Houses member
BEAUMARIS CASTLE

Beaumaris was the last and largest of the massive castles constructed by English King Edward I to keep the Welsh subjugated.  Construction began in 1295, but Beaumaris was never finished.  Even so, it is often regarded as the most technically perfect medieval castle in Britain.  And it is a World Heritage Site.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Castle Street, Beaumaris
County
Isle of Anglesey
Post Code
LL58 8AP
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Conwy Castle
Primary Management
Cadw
BERKHAMSTED CASTLE

Ruined remains of motte and bailey castle at Berkhamsted dating from 11th to 15th centuries. Berkhamsted was home to kings, besieged by the French and scene of the Saxon surrender to William the Conqueror in 1066. And it's a great place for a picnic.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Berkhamsted
County
Hertfordshire
Post Code
HP4 1HH
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Link to featured article
Primary Management
English Heritage
BERRY POMEROY CASTLE

A brooding, ruined, medieval castle located atop a dramatic wooded cliff and with the remains of an unfinished Jacobean house inside its walls, which was intended to be the grand home of the Seymour family. Berry Pomeroy Castle has a reputation as one of the most haunted places in Britain - either the White or the Blue Lady will get you.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Berry Pomeroy
Nr Totnes
County
Devon
Post Code
TQ9 6LJ
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Totnes, Dartmouth
Primary Management
English Heritage
BODIAM CASTLE

Bodiam Castle is a fairy-tale like ruined castle, originally built to help defend Southern England against French attack. One of the most photogenic castles in the country, from a distance it almost looks as though it could come alive.  But it is a shell - albeit with plenty of stairs to clamber up, crumbling battlements to fall off - and wonderful views from the top.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Bodiam, near Robertsbridge
County
East Sussex
Post Code
TN32 5UA
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Bateman's, Scotney Castle, Battle
Primary Management
National Trust
BOLINGBROKE CASTLE

Built in around 1220-30 by Ranulph de Blundevil, Earl of Lincoln and Chester, Bolingbroke Castle is principally known for being the birthplace in 1366 of Henry of Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster and the future King Henry IV. Both parts.

The castle was in a poor state by the time of the 17th century English Civil War, but was briefly held by the Royalists until captured by Oliver Cromwell following the Parliamentary victory at the nearby Battle of Winceby in October 1643. When the Roundheads departed, they deliberately slighted the castle – like so many others. Now it is an interesting and fairly picturesque ruin, with nice views across the remains of the moat to St Peter and St Paul's church and accessed from a narrow, attractive, lane. Bolingbroke was an enclosure castle, with a stone curtain wall surrounding a courtyard in which were located timber-framed buildings, including a great hall. There is no easily visible trace of these buildings, but the ruined remains of the curtain wall, gatehouse towers and 5 additional towers can be seen. And there is a pleasant walk around the outside of the walls.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Moat Lane
Old Bolingbroke
Spilsby
County
Lincolnshire
Post Code
PE23 4HH
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Tip/Nearby
Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre
Primary Management
English Heritage
BOLSOVER CASTLE

Astonishing Stuart mansion, mid-way between a castle and a country house, built to entertain and impress by the staunchly Royalist Charles Cavendish. The place is full of surprises, including some intriguing and lavish decoration, a beautiful garden, wall walk and an unusual riding house. There is an informative exhibition which puts things in perspective before you tour - and a great childrens' playground!

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Castle Street
Bolsover
County
Derbyshire
Post Code
S44 6PR
Main Historic Period
Stuart
Tip/Nearby
Hardwick Hall, Chatsworth
Primary Management
English Heritage
BOTHWELL CASTLE

The imposing red sandstone ruins of Bothwell Castle guard a strategic crossing point over the River Clyde. One feature is the castle's unusual round keep, or donjon. You can also explore the prison cells, great hall and chapel. Construction was started on the castle in the late 13th century, but was incomplete when captured by the English, recaptured, captured again... It then changed hands several more times and had a chequered history, being intentionally ruined at least twice so that it could no longer be used.

The castle sometimes has to be closed at short notice due to bad weather. Check with Historic Scotland before making a special trip.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Castle Avenue
Uddingston
County
Lanarkshire
Post Code
G71 8BL
Main Historic Period
Medieval
Tip/Nearby
Glasgow attractions
Primary Management
Historic Scotland
Bramber Castle

There isn't much left of Bramber Castle - a few sections of curtain wall, the remains of a tower, an overgrown motte, ditch, bits of masonry and an enormous section of gatehouse wall. It was built by the Norman, William de Braose, in 1073 to help control the locality and stayed in the family's hands for about 200 years. Bramber was still in use in the 15th century, but fell into disrepair and was in ruins by the time of the Civil War. Next door is St Nicholas' Church - which was originally the castle's chapel and is a little gem. The location is just on the edge of Bramber village.  Legend has it that the ghosts of the 4th Baron William de Breose's children, starved to death in Windsor Castle as hostages of King John, haunt the streets nearby.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Castle Lane
Bramber
Steyning
County
West Sussex
Post Code
BN44 3NW
Main Historic Period
Norman
Tip/Nearby
Cissbury Ring, Brighton
Primary Management
English Heritage

If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch

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