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Castles of Europe: United Kingdom

Updated on October 27, 2014

Castles of the United Kingdom

Castles exist throughout Europe, but there are perhaps more prominent castles in the United Kingdom than any other place.

While these were once functional defensive fortresses, today they provide a glimpse into history in what is perhaps one of the most charming European features. A castle is truly a European architectural design.

A visit from outside is now enough, if you can go inside and get a glimpse into what really was. And, regardless of outside or inside, take lots of pictures.

Intro Image: This image is in public domain. It can be found on WP Clipart, link provided below.


Europe has been invaded time after time. It was evident that a form of protection was needed to stop invading armies. The result was large fortifications with thick walls and often a molt that served as a defensive position.

Castles could be built utilizing the geography of the local terrain. They could be built atop a mountain or hill, taking the advantage of the high ground in any battle. They could be built with a neighboring sea that could keep the molt filled. They could be built using a steep mountainside to reduce the need to fortify a portion of the perimeter, and allow the defensive force to concentrate more effectively.

Castles also provided a home to the noble family that controlled the area. Once a siege was imminent, it became home to the serfs who worked the land as well.

Why the High Ground

Weapons of the day operated with gravity playing an important role. Archers who launched from the higher position could increase their range. Catapults had a longer range when flinging downhill. So, an invading army would have to come under fire before being able to launch an attack.

What’s more, the defensive force could practice during peace, and would know the effective range of each of its weapons.

Early Warning

Being able to see farther provides an early warning. The Earth prevents seeing past the horizon, but a sentinel placed high in a castle could see an advancing army at a great distance. The time before the attack would actually take place could be used in positioning forces and evacuating serfs to behind the walls of the castle.

North Wales: Caernarfon Castle

North Wales: Conwy Castle

Castles of England, Scotland, and Wales

Please let us know you were here.

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    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 3 years ago

      I had to limit what is shown or this hub would be excessive.

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 3 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      There are so many interesting castles in the UK. So romantic.

    • AstroGremlin profile image

      AstroGremlin 4 years ago

      Hampton Court also has a hedge maze. Two rights and a left, I think. :)

    • mmwoodward profile image

      mmwoodward 4 years ago

      When I went to the UK last fall, I visited the Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle, and also saw the Cardiff Castle. It was a very awesome experience, although I think Stirling Castle was my favourite (probably because it was the first I visited).

    • SandyDell profile image

      Sandy Dell 5 years ago from Lenore, Idaho

      My father's family is from England, so I am always fascinated by English history! Thanks for sharing!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I love the United Kingdom. I long to go there...maybe someday!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      And let's not forget Dover Castle or Leeds Castle, to name just two from Kent.

    • tcorbs profile image

      tcorbs 5 years ago

      A London sightseeing pass would be a good idea when traveling so as to have access to some of the main attractions. Beautiful images of the castles.

    • profile image

      marsha32 5 years ago

      Windsor castle is the only one that my daughter visited while in England. I know they also went to Leeds castle.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I've always wanted to live in a castle. If I ever strike it rich, I'll make that dream a reality. It won't be as large as these, but it will have plenty of room.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great Lens, I love castles, one I have visited is Corfe Castle, but so many years ago!

      It might be rather humble compared with these fantastic places, buy we do have a castle, (mainly ruins) in Lewes, East Sussex, near were I live.