Category: castles

Tullibole Castle

Tullibole Castle is located in the village of Crook of Devon in Perthshire County, Scotland. John Halliday built the 17thcentury castle upon the land of a 14thcentury building site. The castle began as a tower house in the 16thcentury and was expanded by Halliday. The castle underwent further reconstruction in the 18thcentury, and changed ownership to the Moncrieff family around 1740. In 1790, due to financial difficulties, the roof of the castle was removed and sold to the owner of Glendevon Castle, but by the turn of the century the castle was reroofed. The castle was renovated in the mid 20thcentury and some of the Victorian elements were removed for older features. In 1662, ten women and one man were executed near Tullibole Castle for witchcraft; the laird at the time was William Halliday. He and his son John, along with several prominent locals from Crook and Devon, formed a tribunal and set out to prove the evidence of witchcraft. They unfortunately tortured people to receive confessions and used these confessions at the official trials. Eleven people were found guilty of witchcraft and hanged. In 2012, Rhoderick Moncrieff unveiled a memorial at the castle to commemorate the witch trials that his 17thcentury predecessor ordered. The half-ton sandstone pillar has the names of the victims etched on it and stands in the center of the 100-foot hedge maze. Currently, Rhoderick and his wife Allison run a bed and breakfast out of the castle. The castle grounds boast a 9thcentury ruined medieval church, an ancient graveyard, a carriage house, gardens, a maze, a moat, fish ponds, lots of wandering peacocks, and a ruined 18thcentury Doocot, which was used to house pigeons. Tullibole Castle serves as a wedding and corporate venue. 

Scaliger Castle

Scaliger Castle is located in Sirmione, Italy. The 13thcentury fortress is believed to have been commissioned by Mastino I Della Scala and used by the fleet of the Scaliger family as a fortified port. The castle reinforced Verona’s defenses and served to show Mastino’s political power. Scaliger Castle is situated on a small peninsula surrounded by Lake Garda. The fortress has crenellated walls and boasts a moat and drawbridge leading up the 150 steps to the ramparts and tower. In 1405, Verona and surrounding towns were annexed to the Republic of Venice and a Venetian garrison was deployed from Scaliger Castle. New stone walls were built around the harbor at this time. The castle’s importance began to decline in the 16thcentury with the building of a new fortification stronghold in Peschiera del Garda, nevertheless the warehouses and arsenal remained at Scaliger Castle. The territories belonging to Venice were conquered during the Napoleonic Wars and French forces remained in the castle until 1814. In 1861, when the independent Italian states united, Sirmione became a part of the Kingdom of Italy. Hot thermal springs were found in Sirmoine at the end of the 19thcentury and the town became a resort area. The increased tourism to the area and the castle led to the castle’s restoration in the 20thcentury. Scaliger Castle is considered one of the most well conserved of Italy’s castles. The castle is open to the public and serves as a tourist facility and museum.

Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace is located in Oxfordshire, England. The massive country house was built from 1705-1722 for the Dukes of Marlborough. John Churchill, the first duke of Marlborough, was gifted the ruined royal manor of Woodstock Palace, along with a large sum of money by Queen Anne. He was to use these gifts to build a house commemorating his achievements and success at the Battle of Blenheim. The Blenheim residence is the only non-royal, non-episcopal palace in England and is considered one of England’s largest houses. The palace is a family home, a mausoleum, and a national monument. The palace holds a grand collection of portraits, furniture, sculpture, tapestries, books, and a Willis organ in the chapel. The castle is the birthplace and ancestral home of Winston Churchill and boasts a Churchill Exhibition. The Spencer-Churchill families remain in residence at the castle for over 300 years and are responsible for many of the interior changes, as well as developing the gardens and park. The palace is linked to the gardens by a miniature railway. The property holds a grand three acre forecourt, a Column of Victory, the Temple of Diana, the Temple of Health, a boathouse, a hedge maze, and water terraces all set in 2000 plus acres of parkland surrounding the palace. The Baroque palace was saved from ruin when the 9thDuke of Marlborough married American railroad heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt in 1896. The palace was used as a convalescence hospital for soldiers during WWI. Recently, the castle served the UK state dinner for Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Trump. Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to the public. There is a visitor center, a shop, and a café on the property. 

All Saints’ Church

All Saints’ Church is located in Wittenberg, Germany. The first chapel on this site was built in 1340 and consecrated in 1346. The church was considered Wittenberg’s main church by Pope Boniface IX in 1400. There was an old Ascanian Castle on the site, but it was demolished to make room for a new Gothic structure in 1490-1511. The church, built into the castle, is a long basilica with an eastern apse encompassing the north wing of the three-winged complex. The tower of the church stands over the fortress-like estate. The church served as residences for the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg as well as serving as the University of Wittenberg. The chapel and university developed into an important academic and worship center. All Saints’ Church houses the preserved tombs of reformers Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, as well as the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg. All Saints’ Church is world-famous for being the site where Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the main door on October 31, 1517. Luther’s theses attacked papal abuses and the sale of indulgences. In 1520, Pope Leo X declared Luther’s theses to be heretical and he was excommunicated. In 1883, the church was restored in the Neo-Gothic style. A Lutheran Church was established on the site in 1949. In 1983, a series of 12 stained glass windows were installed, each honoring a student of Luther. Today, the structure still serves as a place of worship. It also houses the town’s historical archives, the Riemer Museum, and a youth hostel. 

Kinfauns Castle

Kinfauns Castle is located in Perth, Scotland. Lord Gray built the castle in 1822-1826 on the site of a previous medieval stronghold. The gothic castellated castle stands two stories high with three story towers, a central flag tower, turrets, a large terrace, and battlements. An arboretum was built in the mid-19thcentury, along with a formal and walled garden, which is now occupied by private houses. The arboretum was said to house over 30 trees, which remained in the arboretum until 1970. The property has views of River Tay with woodlands to the north, and agricultural lands to the south and east. The 17thLord Gray commissioned improvements to the castle and structures on the estate until his death in 1930. The castle served as a hotel in the late 20thcentury, boasting 16 luxurious bedrooms, marble fireplaces, and opulent public rooms. In 2004, businesswoman Ann Gloag purchased the castle as a private residence. Ann is considered Scotland’s richest woman. Ann founded a stagecoach bus and rail company. She also owns Beaufort Castle and Balcraig House. Kinfauns Castle is not open to the public.

Olesko Castle

Olesko Castle is located in the village of Olesko in Lviv Oblast, Ukraine. The first record of this castle was documented in 1390, when Pope Boniface IX gifted the castle to the Catholic bishop of Halych. The castle has changed ownership several times throughout its history as the borders of the countries changed. Olesko Castle was owned by Poland, Lithuania, and Hungary at different times, and served as a fief for kings and magnates, so battles for ownership of the castle were constant. The oval shaped castle was built on a hilltop surrounded by defensive walls, a moat, and swampland. By the 15thcentury, the castle was no longer used as a defense position and became a gateway for the aristocracy. In the 17thand 18thcenturies the castle was purchased, sold and fell into ruin, repurchased and renovated, then resold again. The castle was remodeled in the Italian Renaissance style and decorated with paintings and mosaics. The Polish king Jan III Sobieski was born at the castle and he collected many of the artworks currently displayed there. In 1838, the castle suffered earthquake damage. In 1882, the castle was purchased by the Committee of Preservation of the Olesko Castle, and became a Polish national monument. Both WWI and WWII did damage to Olesko Castle, the castle was also struck by lightning in 1956, but in 1961-1985 the castle was restored. Today, Olesko Castle serves as a museum and is open to the public. 

Kinloch Castle

Kinloch Castle is located on the Isle of Rum off the west coast of Scotland. Built in the late 19thcentury, the mansion served as a residence for Sir George Bullough. George’s father, John Bullough, was a textile mill owner from Lancaster who rented Rum Isle for a number of years before deciding to buy it. John purchased the island to create a shooting reserve, and he introduced more deer and game birds, as well as trees to the property. Unfortunately, John died in 1891, and George inherited the property, building a Doric temple mausoleum to his father on the land. George had the castle built in the castellated Tudor style, using red sandstone. The castle had its own electricity supply, modern plumbing, heating, and a telephone system. George owned a yacht and sailed around the world, becoming friends with the Japanese Emperor. There is evidence of this friendship represented throughout the castle, like the gift of the bronze Monkey Eating Eagle in the grand hall. The castle boasts a music hall with a mechanical orchestrion, a golden ballroom, a paneled dining room, a library, a drawing room, and a shower bath with multiple water jets. The property has formal and informal gardens, including a water garden and a walled garden. There’s also a golf course, a bowling green, and greenhouses. It is believed that at one time the castle also had a palm house that housed hummingbirds, turtles, and alligators. George and his wife, Monica, held lavish parties for the wealthy in the opulent surroundings they created. Monica was claimed to be a descendent of one of Napoleon’s sisters. In 1901, King Edward VII knighted George for his efforts in the Second Boer War. George died in 1939 while on a golfing holiday in France, and in 1957, the Bullough Trustees sold the Island of Rum with the exception of the family mausoleum. Due to the flat roofs of the castle and the amount of rain on the island, Kinloch Castle has undergone numerous repairs. The Scottish Natural Heritage, who operated the castle as a hostel until 2015, currently owns Kinloch Castle and Rum Island. Kinloch Castle is open to the public for tours. #Castles #KinlochCastle #IsleOfRum #Scotland

Thornbury Castle

Thornbury Castle is located in Thornbury in South Gloucestershire, England. Constructed upon the site of an earlier 10thcentury manor home, Thornbury Castle was built in 1511 for Edward Stafford, the 3rdDuke of Buckingham. Built as a country home, the castle has a symmetrical entrance with octagonal towers and impressive chimney detail and brickwork. The property boasts a gatehouse, walled gardens, and a GWR Castle class 4-6-0 locomotive. The interior has a dungeon dining room, grand halls, private dining rooms, open fireplaces, and lavish bedchambers. Edward Stafford was a distant cousin of King Henry VIII. Stafford was betrayed by a disgruntled servant and accused of treason so the king had him beheaded. After his death, the king confiscated Thornbury Castle and stayed there for a ten-day honeymoon in 1535 with his queen, Anne Boleyn. The castle remained a royal property until the death of Mary I, it was then returned to the duke’s descendants. The castle fell into ruin after the English Civil War and was later renovated by the Howard family in the 1850’s. Between 1966 and 1986 the castle operated one of the United Kingdom’s top restaurants. Thornbury Castle currently serves as a 28-room luxury hotel and restaurant. The castle hotel offers spa treatments, fine dining, archery, croquet, and tennis. 

Glengorm Castle

Glengorm Castle is located on the Isle of Mull in Scotland. The 19thcentury Scottish Baronial home was built for James Forsyth of Quinish. Forsyth was not beloved on the island as he bullied crofters in the area, evicting the tenants and burning their cottages. He was even told by an older woman that he would never live in the castle he was building, and he didn’t, Forsyth was killed in a riding accident just before the castle was completed in 1863. His son inherited the property. Forsyth also asked an elderly woman what he should name his castle and she told him “Glengorm” to which he agreed, not knowing that in Gaelic Glengorm meant blue glen, a reference to the blue smoke that filled the air when Forsyth had the thatched roof cottages burned down. Set amongst forests, lochs, and hills, Glengorm Castle boasts five luxury suites, grand receptions rooms, a secret stairway, a game room, a whisky lounge, a library, and more. The castle is currently owned by the Nelson family and serves as a Bed and Breakfast and offers self-catering accommodations with rooms available inside the castle or in one of the six cottages scattered about the property. The castle has a café and shop and offers fishing, scenic trails, guided nature walks, Atlantic Ocean views, and complimentary whiskeys from around the world.

Skipton Castle

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.