England is known for having the iconic castles which played a vital role in the military, economic and social growth of the country. Castles in England are well-known monuments of long-back history. Most of the ancient palaces in England date back to 1066, the era of the Norman invasion.
In the centuries after the Norman invasion, palaces in England have never looked back concerning comfort and sophistication. English castles provided great defensive fences and also boasted luxurious and sophisticated living arrangements, and well-landscaped parks and formal gardens.
A small number of castles near London were built for the richest in the Renaissance Era for grand celebrations and grand feasts. These castles provided a great defense to England during the civil and religious tensions in the 17th century and also played a vital role to protect the country’s interest.
These iconic castles pay a great tribute to the rich history of England. These magnificent structures still stand tall as the living epitome of survival over the centuries of battles and people who lived there. Here are some of the most impressive castles in England, to visit and learn about the rich past of these remarkable structures.
Table of Contents
- 1 Here’s the list of the castles in England
- 1.1 Belvoir Castle
- 1.2 Oxford Castle
- 1.3 Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire
- 1.4 Glamis, Angus
- 1.5 Leeds Castle
- 1.6 Warwick Castle
- 1.7 Lindisfarne Castle
- 1.8 Alnwick Castle
- 1.9 Dover Castle
- 1.10 Windsor Castle
- 1.11 Lancaster Castle
- 1.12 Totnes Castle
- 1.13 Raby Castle
- 1.14 Bodiam Castle
- 1.15 Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey
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Here’s the list of the castles in England
Belvoir Castle is a grand home in Leicestershire, an English county facing the Vale of Belvoir. Today, it is listed Grade I complex. A corner of this castle still serves as a family home of Manners family, and it has been the seat of Dukes of Rutland, and most of them were buried in the mausoleum over there. The castle is open to visitors and remains privately owned.
The castle is located around various villages, such as Woolsthorpe, Redmile, Harston, Knipton, Croxton, Harlaxton, Bottesford, and Kerrrial as well as the town of Grantham. In the 16th century, Antiquarian John Leland wrote, “The castle stands on the nape of an upper hill, and it steeps up partly by nature and partly by labor.
It is a partly ruined, sizeable medieval castle of the Norman era located on the west of central Oxford. Most of the wooden motte, formerly moated, and bailey castle in Oxfordshire was replaced with stone by the 13th century, and the castle played a vital role in the Anarchy’s conflict.
The military value of castle reduced in the 14th century and the site became widely used as a prison and administration of the county.
The rectangular-shaped and still alive, St. George’s Tower is known to pre-date the rest of the castle, and it is a watchtower related to the Saxon west gate of the city. By the 18th century, the rest of the buildings had become the local prison of Oxford, and most of the castle was diminished in the period of the English Civil War.
In 1996, the prison was closed and renovated as a hotel. The motte, crypt, and St. George’s Tower, as well as the historical ruins of the castle, are a Scheduled Monument and Grate I buildings.
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Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire
Located around Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, Sudeley Castle of Cotswolds was initially built in the 15th century, and it may have been on the castle built in the 12th century. This castle is maintained and designed to a high standard, and it has a great garden.
Queen Catherine Parr (1512-1548) was buried in St. Mary’s Sudeley chapel in a marble tomb; she was the sixth wife of King Henry VIII. St Mary’s of Sudeley is a castle chapel and a part of the parish of the Church of England.
Sudeley is also among the few castles in England that is still a residence. It is open only on specific dates for visitors and family quarters are not accessible to the public.
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Located along the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland, Glamis Castle is home to the Earl and Countess of Kinghorne and Strathmore and is open to the public. It has been home to the Lyon family since the 14th century, and the current building dates back to the 17th century.
Wife of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother used to live here in childhood, and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, their second daughter was born here. It is conserved as Cat. A listed complex and grounds are covered on the Inventory of Gardens as well as Designed Landscapes of Scotland.
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Located only 30 miles off London, Leeds Castle dated back 900 years ago. Henry VIII once lived here, and it is today known as the most beautiful castle in England. With around 500 acres of lush greens and landscapes, the beautiful site has fantastic views to entice visitors to come again.
Warwick Castle is well known for its excellent medieval interior and re-enactments, and it is located around 100 miles from London.
The families of Warwick were famed for their repartee competitions and luxurious parties in past generations. Some of the honorable guests of the castle included the future King Edward VII, Edward the Prince of Wales, and the eminent Winston Churchill.
Thousands are drawn today to the castle to enjoy the re-enacted competitions which pay tribute to the medieval past of Warwick.
The 16th century old Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island, around Berwick over Tweed in Northumberland was altered much in 1901 by Sir Edwin Lutyens. One can easily access the island from the mainland at low tide through a causeway.
The castle is positioned in a very impulsive border between Scotland and England. Scots and English fought, and Vikings also attacked the area frequently.
In 1550, the castle was built when Lindisfarne Priory went off-use and stones were applied as a construction material. It was positioned in Lindisfarne in the North Sea, but its placement went so wrong that it was on high target from Norsemen and Scots. Later on Tudor times, the strong fortification was made, and the Norsemen were no longer at risk.
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Alnwick Castle was the splendid home to the Duke of Northumberland, and it was initially built after the Norman Conquest. The stately home has been renovated and redesigned a lot of times over the years and is also used as set in TV shows, films, and other entertainment purposes.
This castle was used to film Hogwarts School in the famous Harry Potter series. Also, it has also been used for films like The Black Adder, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Becket.
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It is the oldest and most iconic English fort and even played a significant role to protect the country against foreign enemies in recent history. In 1066 William the Conqueror had fortified the castle. Before the fortifications, it was a stronghold for the forces of Anglo-Saxon.
The fort was improved by various legendary kings over the years, including Henry II and Henry VIII. Visitors to Dover’s white cliffs can reveal the secret tunnels today.
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Located 20 miles west of London, Windsor Castle is the oldest official royal castle which was built 900 years ago, and it is the largest occupied castle worldwide.
This residence is more than just a castle. At Windsor, the grounds have several homes, a large church, and a royal palace.
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Located in Lancaster, this medieval castle has quite a confusing history in the English Lancashire county. It is supposed to be constructed in the 11th century on the Roman fort site facing the crossing of Lune River.
The Honor of Lancaster, along with the castle, came under the control of royal rulers in 1164. The Scots invaded England in 1322 and 1389 and processed over Lancaster and damaged the castle.
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Totnes Castle is one of the well-preserved epitomes of bailey castle and Norman motte in England. It is located on River Dart in Devon in the town of Totnes. The surviving curtain wall and stone keep date back to the 14th century. It served as caput of Totnes’ Feudal barony after the Norman Conquest.
It covers a commanding position over the large hill atop the town, and it protects the way to three valleys. It has been the steward of English Heritage since 1984. It is listed as a Grade I building and serves as a scheduled monument.
This ancient castle is located in Durham County of England and is stretched around 200 acres of deer park. The Raby Castle was built by 3rd Baron Neville de Raby, John Neville between 1367 and 1390.
After the 6th Earl of Westmorland, Charles Neville led the Rising of the North which was failed by the Queen of Scots, Mary in the year 1569.
It is the 14th-century moated castle located in East Sussex, England and was built by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge in 1385. Its possession passed around various generations of Dalyngrigges until their line went extinct.
Beaumaris Castle, Anglesey
In 1403, Beaumaris Castle was conquered by Welsh forces during the uprising of Owain Glyndwr, but imperial troops captured it again in 1405.
After the outbreak of the English Civil War in 1642, the castle was held by Charles I and his royal forces. Though it is ruined it is still a tourist attraction.