Skipton Castle is located in Skipton, North Yorkshire, England. The castle was built in 1090 AD by Norman Baron, Robert de Romille in the motte and bailey design. Skipton Castle sits high upon a cliff for defense. In 1102, the castle was rebuilt from wood to stone in an effort to withstand attacks by the Scots. In 1310, the castle was granted to Robert Clifford who ordered many improvements to the castle’s fortifications. During England’s Civil War, Skipton Castle was the only Royal stronghold in northern England until 1645. A three-year siege ended in a negotiation in 1645 between Oliver Cromwell and the Royalists. Cromwell called for the removal of the castle’s roofs. After the siege, Lady Anne Clifford, who was the owner of Skipton Castle, ordered repairs to be made and she planted the yew tree in the central Tudor courtyard to commemorate the repairs. The castle boasts six drum towers, the two north towers are connected and used for domestic purposes as these towers hold the kitchen, great hall, bedchambers, privy, etc. The remaining towers are for military purposes and hold a dungeon and a watchtower. The staircase entrance was added in the 16thand 17thcenturies, which replaced the original drawbridge. The roof is now fully intact. An outer curtain wall surrounds the estate encompassing subsidiary buildings, a twin tower Norman gatehouse, a 17thcentury shell grotto, and a 12thcentury chapel. Skipton Castle is open to the public and has a tearoom, visitor shop, and picnic area.
Kilcroney House is located in County Wicklow in Kilcroney, Ireland. The two-story Tudor style country house was built in 1835. The castle has a series of gabled wings, with natural slate finishing the pitched roof. In 1668, Brian McAlexander Toole owned the property, but the lands were confiscated by King Charles II as punishment for Toole’s involvement in a local rebellion. The king granted the lands to Sir William Flower. During the mid 17thcentury, public hangings took place on this site from the trees that overhang the Dargle River, which runs past the land. The castle houses one of the oldest churches in Ireland and serves as a national monument. The castle served as a private residence and had many owners until 1933 when the castle was transformed into the Kilcroney Hotel. In 1951, Sir Basil Goulding purchased the property and the castle became a golf and sports club: the first country club in Ireland. In 1955, Kilcroney House was taken over by the Hosteller Order of St. John of God and used as a Juniorate school and retreat. In 1994, the castle came under the ownership of the Legionaries of Christ and now serves as the Dublin Oak Academy. The school boasts a chapel, classrooms, science lab, computer lab, game room, dormitories, three full size football pitches, three tennis courts, two gyms, and a pitch and putt area for golf. Although the Kilcroney House has undergone numerous renovations, most of the original detail and character remain.
Abbotsford House is located on the banks of River Tweed in the small town of Melrose in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. The estate was once a small farm of 100 acres and was purchased in 1811 by famous novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott. Scott built a small villa on the property and continued to build additions to the house to create the mansion seen today. Scott had some of the stones brought in from ruined castles and abbeys in Scotland and had them built into this Scottish Baronial mansion. Scott was a collector of books, ancient furniture, armor, weapons, and other historic relics, many of which are located in the Museum of Scotland. Scott had the jougs (metal collars used to punish criminals) removed from Threave Castle and attached them to the castellated gateway he had built at Abbotsford. Although construction finished in 1824, Scott only enjoyed his home for one year before he found himself in debt. In 1830, his creditors gave the library and museum to him. Scott died in 1832, but the property became totally disencumbered in 1847 due to Scott’s publisher, who cancelled the bond upon the castle in exchange for the family’s share in Scott’s published works. The two Scott’s sisters who last owned the property installed electricity in 1962. The sisters Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott and Patricia Maxwell-Scott opened Abbotsford House to the public in 1833 to help pay for the mansion’s upkeep. Dame Jean was once a lady–in-waiting for Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester. The mansion continued to be occupied by Scott’s decedents until 2004. Abbotsford House is open to the public. The estate boasts a café, luxury accommodations in the Abbotsford Hope Scott Wing of the castle, formal gardens, and a visitor center with a gift shop.
Powerscourt Estate is located in Enniskerry, County Wicklow in Ireland. A 13thcentury three story castle was built on this site by La Poer and served as a strategic militarily location. The castle came under the ownership of the Powerscourt family in the 16thcentury. In the 18thcentury, the 1stViscount Powerscourt, Richard Wingfield, had the castle completely remodeled, altering the medieval castle into an English manor. The castle’s Palladian façade has two circular domed towers and is located down a mile-long avenue of beech trees. King George IV was a guest at the castle in 1821. In the 19thcentury, the 7thViscount of Powerscourt began further renovations of the home and created new gardens on the once 49,000 acre property. The estate boasts a stone tower, Japanese gardens, Italian garden, Triton Lake, Dolphin Pond, winged horse statues, the Pepperpot Tower, a pet cemetery, a river walk, Powerscourt Golf Club, and the luxurious Powerscourt Hotel. In 1961, the estate was sold to the 9thViscount of Powerscourt, where it remains today. The house was destroyed by fire in 1974 and was renovated in 1996. Only two rooms are open to the public, while the rest of the ground floor and 1stfloor are now retail units. Powerscourt Estate currently sits on 47 acres and houses Tara’s Palace Museum of Childhood, which features dollhouses, miniatures, dolls, and historic toys. Powerscourt Estate is open to the public and offers food, refreshments, and shopping. The castle is a popular wedding venue. #Castles #Museum #Cafe #Powerscourt #PowerscourtEstate #PowerscourtCastle #Ireland #CountyWicklow #Enniskerry #PowerscourtGolfClub #WeddingVenue #PowerscourtHotel
Skibo Castle is located in the Highland county of Sutherland in Dornoch, Scotland. The castle was built in the 18thcentury and overlooks the Dornoch Firth. An earlier 13thcentury castle sat on this site and served as the residence for the Bishops of Caithness. In 1545, the estate was given by the church to John Gray to form an alliance against the threat of Protestantism. In 1745, Robert Gray surrendered the estate and it was later purchased by a relative who built a modern home on the property. The property changed ownership numerous times. In 1898, wealthy industrialist Andrew Carnegie purchased the dilapidated estate. Carnegie proceeded to put two million dollars into the property to build a baronial mansion house with turrets and battlements. He also created the Loch Ospisdale, constructed an indoor Olympic sized heated swimming pool, and added a 9-hole golf course. Skibo Castle remained in the Carnegie family until 1982, when it was purchased by businessman Peter de Savary, who instituted the private, members only Carnegie Club. The castle went through a 30 million dollar restoration to create a luxury Edwardian sporting estate. The club was sold to Elis Short in 2003. The grounds house eleven well-appointed lodges, extensive gardens, and an artificial lake called Lake Louise. The castle boasts 21 guest rooms, a spa, a private library, and a clubhouse with a restaurant. Activities include golf, swimming, tennis, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, and archery. Skibo Castle houses the Carnegie Club and is only open to its 650 members, however the public can make tee times for golfing.
Bannerman’s Castle is located in the Hudson River on Pollepel Island off the coast of the state of New York, United States. The island is 6.5 acres and features the abandoned Bannerman’s Castle, which served as a military surplus warehouse. The island was purchased by Francis Bannerman VI, who immigrated to the United States from Ireland with his parents in 1854. The family began a military surplus business and the island was purchased in 1900 to use as a storage facility for weapons and 30 million munitions cartridges. It was Bannerman who designed the buildings and the turreted castle. Aside from the majority of buildings being used for storage, Bannerman had a castle built on a smaller scale near the main structure to serve as a residence. The visible castle also served as a giant advertisement for his business. Construction was stopped when Bannerman died in 1918, and a series of disasters took place. In 1920, 200 pounds of shells and powder exploded, destroying part of the complex. New laws prevented the company from selling to civilians, which led to a decline in the business, and the ferryboat that served the island sank during a storm in 1950, in turn the complex was abandoned. In 1967, the island and buildings were purchased by the state of New York without the military merchandise, and tours of the island began. Unfortunately, in 1969 a fire devastated the Arsenal and the island was made off-limits to the public. Currently, the structure is a ruin as the island has been vandalized and neglected. There’s also remnants of the breakwater system near the island. Bannerman’s Castle has tours available to the public. #BannermansCastle #Castles #PolleopelIsland #UnitedStates #NewYork #Arsenal
Pidhirtsi Castle is located in the village of Pidhirtsi in Lviv Oblast in western Ukraine. The castle was built upon the site of a previous fortress for the Cossack chief of the Polish Crown between the years 1635-1640. The castle-fortress was built for leisure and remained in the Polish military leaders ownership until the 18thcentury. Unlike the previous castles constructed in the area, Pidhirtsi Castle resembles an English country house, complete with a park and two churches. The three story structure was built with brick and stone, guarded by a moat and drawbridge, fortified walls, and iron cannons. The castle grounds featured a private zoo, a grange, vineyards, an apiary, a trout pond, and a mill. The Roman Catholic Church of the Exaltation and St. Joseph was built near the palace in the Baroque style in the mid 18thcentury. The castle underwent renovations in the 18thand 19thcenturies, and suffered damage during the 20thcentury when it was vandalized. After WWII, the castle was used to house tuberculosis patients. The castle suffered through fire caused by a lightning storm in 1956. During the Soviet regime the castle was often left abandoned, all these events led to the decline in the east and west wings of the palace. The castle is currently run by the Museum of Fine Arts in Lviv and is part of the National Cultural Heritage of the Ukraine. The students of the Lviv Polytechnic University and the students of Vienna Poytechnic, who performed the first architectural survey of the palace, are currently carrying out Restoration of Pidhirtsi Castle. The castle boasts a collection of paintings, sculpture, armor, books, and crafts. Pidhirtsi Castle is open to the public.
Barony Castle Hotel is located in Eddleston, in the Scottish Borders area of Scotland. The castle is also known as the Black Barony, Blackbarony, and Darnhall. A tower house was built upon this site in the early 15thcentury when John Murray, Laird of Blackbarony was granted the estate and his title by King James IV. After his death, his son Andrew inherited the estate and title. Andrew had the Scottish baronial style castle built on the site of the old tower house. The castle’s French (Jacobean) façade was added in the 18thcentury. By the 19thcentury, plans were drawn up to for a new mansion, but it was never built. Instead the castle was repaired and altered around 1847. A north section was added in 1855 to add more bedrooms, and the house was further enlarged in 1887. The property passed to the Murrays of Elibank in 1771, who held ownership until 1926. The castle was converted into a hotel at that time and a ballroom was added in 1933. The castle served as a station for Polish soldiers until the end of WWII. Thereafter it returned to a hotel under the new ownership of Polish war veteran, Jan Tomasik. Tomasik had the three-dimension, outdoor concrete scale model of Scotland added to the property. The Mercure Group, part of Accor Hotels, currently operates the hotel. Barony Castle is three stories tall with four-story square towers set on 25 acres of mature gardens and woodlands. The grounds boast 19thcentury stables, an 18thcentury icehouse, and a Yew Tree walk. The hotel has 78 bedrooms, 14 meeting rooms, a restaurant and bar, and a health and fitness suite with an indoor pool, sauna, spa, and gymnasium.