Croft Castle (Best pics)

mifl68 /Foter

Situated in Leominster, Herefordshire, is a 17th century stone quadrangular fortress, built close to the site of the old medieval castle. At each corner of the high curtain wall is a small round tower, with a small square tower flanking the north side. The Croft family have lived here since before the Norman invasion. It is thought that the Norman family de Croft came over during the time of Edward the Confessor, and by the time of Domesday, a Bernard de Croft held the land. Although now run by the National Trust, members of the Croft family still live in the castle and on the estate, thus continuing the ancient family association. Croft was re-opened to the public in April 2003 after a year long facelift.
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Arundel Castle, West Sussex, England


This is a magnificent castle situated on a hill overlooking the river Arun. Built at the end of the 11th century, it has been, and still is, the residence of the Dukes of Norfolk for over 700 years. You may tour much of the grounds and interior here.ukthumb_se

The Black Swan offered a wonderful lunch by the River Arun in this beautiful village. Walking into the village, we stopped in a shop which sold genuine Roman coins. These coins are still being found by hobbyists using metal detectors.

After touring Arundel I took a photo as we walked away. The castle, gave me the impression of a formidable fortress and, remembering the outstanding armoury they had inside, decided to make it appear to really loom over you and have it look as it may to an invading force.

Chirk Castle (pics)

Photo gallery here


Clwyd, Wales, was founded about 1295 as a stronghold for Edward I’s army captain Roger Mortimer, thus becoming one of the great fortresses of Edward’s reign; it is of rectangular, concentric form with walls fifteen feet thick and a massive drum tower at each corner; since 1595 the home of the Myddelton family; conveyed to the National Trust in 1981

Cawdor Castle, Scotland


Highlands, Scotland, a late 14th century private fortress and a real fairy-tale castle was built around a small living holly tree by the Thanes of Cawdor and is still the home of the Cawdor family; the name of Cawdor was romantically linked by Shakespeare with Macbeth. Images from Cawdor

The Berkeley Castle


Gloucestershire, after 850 years still remains the home of the Berkeley family who gave name to various places from Berkeley Square in London to Berkeley University in California; a Norman fortress with massive high walls contains treasures like paintings by English and Dutch masters, tapestries, furniture, silver and porcelain. This historic castle was the scene of the murder of King Edward II in 1327, and was in 1645 besieged by Cromwell’s troops. The castle is surrounded by lovely Elizabethan Gardens. See more photos and historical draws.

Beeston Castle


ukthumb_nwRising some 500ft above the Cheshire plain is Beeston crag, a rocky outcrop forming part of a chain of hills. With a commanding view of the Welsh mountains and the Pennines, the 13th century ruins of Beeston Castle dominate the crag.

Over 2000 years ago it is known that this site was occupied by a Bronze Age community, and later during the Iron Age a hill fort was established to protect the settlers who farmed the area. But from that time until the early 1200s it is uncertain whether the site remained in use.

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Barnard Castle


ukthumb_ne1Situated along the River Tees in County Durham, Barnard Castle was originally a modest structure created by Guy de Balliol in the 11th century. Some 100 years later, Guy’s small earthwork castle had been replaced by a massive stone fortress at the hands of Bernard de Balliol and his son. Consequently, not only was the castle named after these two great builders, but the town also. By the end of the 12th century this had become one of the largest castles in the North of England, and it is the extensive remains of this work that can be seen today.

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Bamburgh Castle


ukthumb_neEarly records identify the castle as ‘Bebbanburgh’, the seat of the kings of Bernicia, besieged twice by the Mercian King Penda. Even 1500 years ago the castle remained impregnable against attack, and had it not been for the capture of the Earl of Northumberland outside of the castle, William the Conqueror may never have taken Bamburgh in 1095. It remained Crown property until 1610, although it had been abandoned long before that time. A battle in 1464 had reduced it to a ruinous state, and natural decay followed with the resulting neglect.

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Aberystwyth Castle

aberystwyth_castleIn the marvellous sweep of Cardigan Bay stand the ruins of one of Edward I’s late 13th century castles. Of the seven major English strongholds he established in Wales, Aberystwyth has fared least favourably in the survival stakes. Now little more than a few fragmented chunks of masonry displayed in a well-kept public park, the castle has lost its imposing hold on the town.

At one time guarded by one of the largest Iron Age forts in West Wales, Aberystwyth has been a place of strategic importance throughout history. The first Norman castle, built on a site further south, was begun by Gilbert de Clare but this has long since disappeared, having been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times during 200 years of political and family feuding. When Edward I begun his castle in 1277, it was a magnificent lozenge-plan concentric building of two stone curtain enclosures, flanked by sturdy round towers. Each curtain had a twin-towered gatehouse, the smaller outer gate leading to a barbican, and the inner gatehouse a substantial fortress with domestic accommodation. Excavations have revealed that a great hall stretched from this gatehouse to the south tower of the inner curtain, some 60ft long (18.3m) and 42ft wide (12.8m).

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