Travel topics > Cultural attractions > Architecture > Castles > Castles in Britain and Ireland

True Castles (those built for defensive purposes) in the United Kingdom were constructed from the start of Norman Conquest onward, until the early 17th century when developments in military technology rendered them less effective from a defensive viewpoint. Sometimes the castles were built on or near the basis of early pre-Norman fortifications. Whilst there are true castles in Scotland (notably Edinburgh and Stirling), there are also a number of tower-houses (effectively fortified residences).

Map of Castles in Britain and Ireland


Northern IrelandEdit



  • 4 Tower of London, St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB.  
  • 5 Windsor Castle, Windsor, SL4 1NJ. It was built by William the Conqueror following the Norman invasion in the 11th century, and has been used by the British royal family since the reign of King Henry I. It is the largest inhabited castle in the world and used by the Queen as her primary weekend residence, though the state rooms are open to the public when not in use for state ceremonies.    
  • 6 Dover Castle, Castle Hill Rd, Dover CT16 1HU, +44 370 333 1181.  
  • 7 Warwick Castle, Warwick CV34 4QU, +44 871 265 2000.  


  • 8 Beaumaris Castle, Castle St, Beaumaris LL58 8AP, +44 1248 810361.  
  • 9 Caernarfon Castle (Carnarvon Castle), Castle Ditch, Caernarfon, LL55 2AY, +44 1286 677617. (Welsh: Castell Caernarfon). An impressive work began in 1283 by England's King Edward I as his planned seat of power in his attempt to subjugate Wales. Like Beaumaris, this castle was quite functional, although never 100% completed. Notable use of this castle has included the investiture of a Princes of Wales on at least two occasions.    

See alsoEdit

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