Welcome to www.britainscastles.com!
We hope that you are as passionate and excited to see the Castles of the UK as we are!
About the Author – Amy Green
The website www.britainscastles.com is run by Amy Green, a UK based history and RE teacher. Amy has travelled extensively throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, clothing up a high number of castles along the way! In her childhood, Amy spent 6 weeks at a time in Wales during her summer holidays and used to explore castles in Snowdonia and Pembrokeshire including Powis Castle and Tenby Castle. Becoming a humanities teacher was a great way to pass on this knowledge and passion to the next generation.
We are Expanding!
Britains Castles has grown over the last 12 months and we now have a team of historians and travel bloggers exploring and researching the castles of the UK for you. If you would like to join our team as a researcher and writer then please contact us.
www.britainscastles.com is designed to give you an insight into the history of Britains Castles and also give advice on visiting them.
A Brief History of British Castles
British castles are to be found all over the country. They were initially built as fortresses during times of unrest, but later became homes for royalty and nobles. Today they are to be found in various states of disrepair or restoration, representing centuries of history.
Many castles have been destroyed or ruined by battles, fires or just the passing of time. However, there are still a few that remain relatively intact and serve as very fine examples of medieval architecture.
Castles were built to provide protection against attacks from rival lords and invaders, and also sometimes to enforce an overlord’s authority in his domain. The earliest castles were earth and wood constructions, later replaced by stone buildings. The advantage of the latter was that they were harder to destroy, and yet each stone could be removed by hand or with simple tools.
Castles served as grand homes for royalty, nobles and bishops alike. They included all the facilities one would expect in a home, including kitchens, chapels, bathrooms (a new development at the time) and dungeons.
Castle building reached its peak between the 11th and 16th centuries, by which time Britain had around 10,000 of them. Many were subsequently destroyed during the Civil War (1642-8), and those that survived now serve as museums or private homes rather than defensive structures.
One English castle whose history is well documented is that of Portchester, near Portsmouth in Hampshire. The castle was built by William the Conqueror soon after the Norman invasion of 1066, and its history can be traced through detailed records.
Castle tours are popular with visitors to Britain who want to see the remnants of this part of our national heritage. Visitors can take guided tours of both restored and ruined castles, with knowledgeable tour guides describing their history.
Many castles open to the public serve as popular venues for weddings, conferences and other private functions during the summer months when visitor numbers are lower. So if you visit one on a winter’s day, you may well have it more or less to yourself!