Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Edinburgh Castle

An engraving published in Maitland's History of Edinburgh, 1753.

Few indeed are those architectural legacies still remaining to us that can boast the iconic status of Edinburgh Castle, its distinctive silhouette known throughout the world, accompanied by the gently wafting of bagpipes. Far rarer still are those structures with a comparably singular influence upon the shaping of a nation.

Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle

Few ambitions were ever so grand or manifestos so proudly proclaimed as those writ into the walls of Dunstanburgh Castle. The power of such fortifications wasn’t just limited to their considerable heft but was rooted in their role as the stronghold and home of the great men and women of the age

Motte and Bailey Castle for Sale in Wales

Castell Gronw

The remains of a 13th-century Motte and Bailey castle has been put up for sale together with a fully renovated five bedroomed farmhouse, gardens, stream and wood for £650,000

Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle - Photo by giorgio raffaelli / Flickr

Windswept and interesting, the spectacle of the venerable old man of Northumbria, Bamburgh Castle, cannot help but stoke the imagination.

Why did they stop building tower house castles in Ireland?

Mahee Castle - Mahee Castle, Ringneill Road, Mahee Island, County Down, Northern Ireland, Photo by Ardfern / Wikicommons

One of the most visible reminders of Ireland’s medieval history are the tower house castles that are scattered throughout the country. For centuries they were the homes and fortresses for the native Irish elites as well as the English and Scottish settlers. However, by the early seventeenth-century it seems that they were now being abandoned and left the fall into ruin. What happened?

Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Dover Castle

Dover Castle = Photo by Smudge 9000 / Flickr

Resolute and vigilant, Dover Castle yet stands guard above its ancient charge, the port of Dover. Of all the facets and functions that the castle performed in medieval society, Dover personifies its most commonly remembered and perhaps fundamental aspect, as a stronghold and place of security.

Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle - photo by James Turner

While Caernarvon was the ultimate manifestation of Anglo-Norman occupied Wales wrought into stone and mortar, Pembroke was its beating heart. Today ensconced upon a spur of rock, the Cleddau estuary flowing gently by, Pembroke Castle stands still, its long shadow silent and serene.

Places to See: Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle. Photo by Medievalists.net

I spent a soggy, but fun filled Sunday in Sussex at Arundel Castle during International Joust Week July 21-26th. Even without the jousting, the castle is well worth the visit if you are looking for a quick day trip outside of London. History of Arundel Castle The castle’s history dates back to the Norman period. […]

Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle - Photo from Flickr

Stirling Castle is intimately entwined with the history of Scotland and her monarchy, a significance which is recognized and presented throughout its numerous components with admirable vigour.

Ten Castles that Made Medieval Britain: Caernarfon Castle

caernarfon castle - photo by Kris Williams / Flickr

Perhaps more than any other castle found within the British Isles, Caernarfon embodies that most terrifying of a castles aspects; a tool for the aggressive and utter domination of territory.

Castle for Sale in France: Chateau d’Arcine

Chateau Arcine 2

This medieval castle, which dates back to the 11th century, is located on the French-Swiss border.

Was this Castle built in the Middle Ages?

wray castle - photo from Wikimedia Commons

Here are ten castles from around Europe. Which ones were built in medieval times, and which ones were built in more modern times?

Holt Castle in Wales reopens

Holt Castle in 2007, before restoration - photo by Peter Craine / Wikimedia Commons

Holt Castle, near Wrexham in northern Wales, was re-opened last week after the completion of a four year restoration project.

White Castle and the Dating of the Towers

White Castle Wales - photo by Rob Phillips / Flickr

Paul Remfrey makes a detailed case for dating the towers to 1229-31, and 1234-39, built by Hubert de Burgh.

Magna Carta Conference Offers New Insights Into The 800-year-old Document

British Library's Magna Carta, photo credit Joseph Turp

Magna Carta just celebrated its 800th birthday this past Monday. In honour of this incredible milestone, King’s College London, and the Magna Carta Project, hosted a 3 day conference dedicated to this historic document.

The building of Castles and the administration of Sweden

Kalmar Castle in Sweden

Throughout Sweden the King began to build castles on the basis of foreign models in the middle of the 13th century. It is about the new art of castle building under Anglo-Norman and German influence.

Lincoln Castle reopens after £22 million refurbishment

Lincoln castle reopens  - photo courtesy Lincoln County Council

Lincoln Castle has re-opened earlier this month after finishing a £22 million refurbishment, revealing new visitor experiences, including an underground exhibition home for Lincoln Cathedral’s 1215 Magna Carta.

Castle for Sale in Germany: The Sauerburg

Castle for Sale in Germany sauerburg - photo by RichHein/Wikicommons

This ruined 14th-century castle in western Germany is now used as a hotel for the picturesque region that is designated a World Heritage Site.

Five Minutes at Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle is an extremely well-preserved example of a medieval Scottish castle, and its various improvements over three hundred years. Though it is now a ruin, it is so beautifully intact that you get a real sense of the layout, and how it would have been used centuries ago.

Environmental Crusading: The Teutonic Knight’s Impact After the Baltic Crusades

Malbork Zamek Krzyzacki. Wikicommons

Environmental archaeologist and Professor of Archeology at Reading, Dr. Aleks Pluskowski, examined Malbork and several other sites across Eastern and Northern Europe in his recent paper, The Ecology of Crusading: The Environmental Impact of Holy War, Colonisation, and Religious Conversion in the Medieval Baltic. Pluskowski is keenly interested in the impact the Teutonic Knights and Christian colonisation had on the region. His ambitious 4 year project on the ecological changes in this area recently came to a close at the end of 2014.

Castle Geiersberg in Austria for sale

Burg Geiersberg - photo by Lenz Moser / Flickr

Settled on top of a rocky outcrop among the beautiful mountains of southern Austria, Castle Geiersberg dates back to at least the 13th century. The castle once belonged to the archbishops of Salzburg, and then Austrian nobility.

Castle for Sale: Château de Vigny

castle for sale: chateau de vigny

A beautiful French Renaissance castle on sale for 5.7 million euros.

Rowallan Castle in Scotland to be turned into a hotel

Rowallan Castle - photo by Sagereid / Wikipedia

Historic Scotland is transferring control of Rowallan Castle, which dates back to the Middle Ages, back to its owner, who who will be converting it into a hotel as part of a golf course development.

Forgotten Ruins? The castles of the Welsh Princes

Dolbadarn Castle - photo courtesy CADW

This article offers a fresh look at some of the castles built by the Welsh princes during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Were they built for defensive purposes, or were they merely a status symbol for the princes who commissioned them?

New bridge installed at Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle bridge - photo courtesy CADW

A new bridge was installed at Harlech Castle last month, which will allow visitors to enter the site through the original historic entrance for the first time in more than 600 years.

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