The United Kingdom is home to some of the most impressive castles in the world. Roughly since the 7th century, Britain has had a royal family and royalty. To house the royal members, the British built many important castles that stand today attracting people worldwide. Some of these castles in the UK are even more than 1000 years old.
One of the oldest castles in the UK, Arundel Castle has been the hereditary home of Norfolk Dukes for more than 800 years. In 1067, one year after the Norman Invasion, Roger de Montgomery finished the castle’s construction. Although the English Civil War heavily damaged Arundel Castle, 100 years later, the Duke of Norfolk renovated it. Arundel Castle is on the list of buildings that require the utmost care and protection by the British government.
In the 14th century, the English were in a war with the French called the Hundred Years’ War. Fearing that the French could try to invade England, Sir Edward, the knight of Edward III, built Bodiam Castle. Until 1925 when the British government took ownership, the castle passed from lineage to lineage. Bodiam Castle was also a movie location for more than 15 movies.
Arguably the most important and famous castle in the UK, the home of English Royalty for more than 1000 years, Windsor Castle is a historical gem. The castle comprises three wards, over 1000 rooms, and 300 fireplaces, and is also home to 150 people. Although the kings and queens reside at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle has been their place of escape and holiday.
Warwick Castle has a history that goes back to the 9th century. It was one of the defensive castles of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom. While it was wooden at first, Henry II turned it into stone. It had one of the biggest armories in England and the strongest catapult in the land. In addition, it was a terrifying prison that at some point even hosted a king. Its dungeons were so dark that it would make people insane.
A magical place in the magical Highlands of Scotland, Dunrobin Castle is one of the most impressive sights in the UK. It has been home to the Sutherland Dukes and their families since the 15th century. It is also one the largest castles in Scotland due to its room number which is 189. Although the castle took some heavy damage during a fire in 1915, it still stands today both for the Sutherland family and visitors.
The former home of Scottish royalty, 135 meters tall, surviving invasions 23 times, Edinburgh Castle is the most important castle in Scottish history. The castle was so big that the jewels of the royal family would go missing and no one would be able to find them. After Scotland and England united, the English crown did not visit the castle much so it became a defensive castle rather than a royal residency.
Located in Angus, Scotland, Glamis Castle holds a special place in the English crown’s history. While the castle was the home of Elizabeth II’s mother, it was also the birthplace of Princes Margaret. The castle has a huge garden which is one of the national heritages’ of Scotland. Glamis Castle was also the castle where Macbeth lived in the Shakespeare tragedy.
What many call the heart of Cardiff, Cardiff Castle is one of the oldest castles not just in Wales but in the UK. Its history begins with the Romans who built a fort in the area in the 1st century. When the Normans invaded Wales, they built a castle around the fort to better oversee their expansion. The castle passed on to the Marquees of Bute who renovated the castle in the 19th century. Therefore, three different architectural motifs, Roman, Norman, and Victorian, can be seen in Cardiff Castle.
While truly a magnificent site, Conwy Castle is also a tragic reminder for the Welsh. It was built when Edward I conquered Wales and it represents the defeat at the hands of the English. Although the castle saw some hard times, being on the brink of complete destruction over the centuries, it has withstood battles, wars, and invasions. It also has a twin castle in Japan, a token of friendship between the two empires.
After invading Wales, Edward I wanted to keep any Welsh rebellion in check. So, he built a series of castles around Wales which are called the Iron Ring castles. Caernarfon was maybe the most important of them for Edward because his son was born inside the castle. His heir was named Edward of Caernarfon who became the first prince of Wales, a title given to the first-born son of the English Monarch.