8 Captivating Castles in England ...

By Neecey

8 Captivating Castles in England ...

If you’ve heard the saying “An Englishman’s home is his castle,” you’re probably already aware there are plenty of castles in England. English castles – and we’re talking the biggies here – are full of histories that have seen war and famine, pestilence and plague, games of politics and romance and just about every facet of social life throughout many centuries. (There are plenty of castles all over the British Isles but we’re concentrating on English castles here.) They make for a brilliant day out because there’s usually more to see than you can cram into one visit. If you’re ever in the UK, you might want to check out some of the magnificent castles in England.

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1

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle Probably the most famous of all the castles of England because of it being a home to the Royal Family (one of 4 official principal residences), Windsor Castle is a sprawling medieval construction that dominates the small Berkshire town. Built in the time of William the Conqueror, it holds 2 records – that of being the largest inhabited castle in the world and the oldest in continuous occupation. Its floor space is more than 484,000 square feet and is where many official UK state and royal functions and events take place.

2

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle Another of the English castles built by William the Conqueror (he was a busy boy protecting the country he had invaded), Warwick sits on the River Avon in the Midlands. It was a symbol of the power of one of the mightiest dynasties in England (Earl of Warwick), right up until the 1970s when it was purchased by the Tussauds Group and opened as a tourist site and museum. It is one of the few castles that comes close to the size and cost of Windsor Castle and is a Grade I listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument.

3

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle If Alnwick looks somewhat familiar to you, it’s because many of the scenes from the Harry Potter movies were shot here. It is a Grade I listed building on the very north of England and has been home to the Dukes of Northumberland for more than 700 years. It is another of the Norman Conquest castles in England and its state rooms are home to a magnificent art collection and many antique treasures.

4

Bodiam Castle

Bodiam Castle Many English castles used to be built completely surrounded by moats with wooden drawbridges as entrances. Many of these moats have since been filled in, but Bodiam Castle is still surrounded completely by water. Bodium, which is near Robertsbridge in southern England, is often cited as the most perfect example of a late medieval moated castle, although many historians and architecture experts contest its overall defensive capabilities. Supposedly built to resist French invasion and to control revolting peasants, the castle is considered too small to hold an adequate garrison of soldiers and the walls are only a couple of feet thick – compared to the massive walls of true defensive bastions.

5

St. Michael’s Mount

St. Michael’s Mount Located 1,200 feet off the Cornish coast, the castle on St. Michael’s Mount doesn’t really have a separate name. St. Michael’s Mount refers to the entire small island and the buildings thereon. It is a tidal island, separated from the small fishing town of Marazion at high tide, and accessible by way of a man-made granite causeway at low-medium tide. The castle is the home of Lord St. Levan and is full of armour and antique furniture. There is also a 15th century chapel on the island with a tower that used to provide guidance for ships and also, there’s Chapel Rock on the beach, marking a shrine to the Virgin Mary.

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6

Skipton Castle

Skipton Castle Skipton castle is in North Yorkshire, and originally built as a baronial home in 1090, it was later fortified to help protect the north of England from attacks from the Scots. It was the home to the Clifford family – gifted by King Edward II – for over 350 years, seeing many of the struggles of the north, including being besieged for 3 years during the English Civil War. Skipton is still a private residence and is one of the most well preserved castles in England.

7

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle Arundel is one of the English castles that actually pre-dates the castle building spree that went on in the initial years of the reign of William the Conqueror, having been constructed in the reign of Edward the Confessor. Although, having said that, it was completed and added to by Roger de Montgomery, who was gifted the castle by William. It is a Grade I Listed building and remains a hereditary stately home. In that confusing manner of the aristocracy of England, it is currently the seat of the Duke of Norfolk. Norfolk is a county in the extreme east of England, whereas Arundel is in West Sussex, a county in the south.

8

Dover Castle

Dover Castle Dover is one of the Cinque Ports, a chain of towns that were fortified to prevent invasion via the English Channel. The town’s castle was built in 1200 and stands high on a headland overlooking the narrowest part of the channel and its construction was designed to be a clear signal that England would vigorously defend its shores against all invaders. As the largest of the line of defences, Dover Castle is known as the “Key to England” and is home to the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. As well as the hugely fortified walls, the castle has a network of secret passages.

There are many more magnificent examples of castles in England, so wherever you’re visiting, there’s bound to be one nearby. Which one would you visit?

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Castles are wonderful

they all look so magnificent!

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