Castello Di Rivalta is located in Rivalta in the Province of Piacenza, Italy. The Village of Rivalta is a fortified complex. The fortified castle overlooks the banks of the river Trebbia. The castle is first mentioned in a purchase in 1025 A.D. In 1048, Emperor Henry II donated the castle to the monastery of San Savino di Piacenza. Throughout the centuries the castle was at the center of many battles, sieges, and treason. The castle switched hands numerous times throughout its history, but in the 14thcentury the land was ceded to the Obizzo Landi family. The Landi family reconstructed the castle into the residence it is today. The decedents of the 14thcentury feudal family still live in the castle. The castle is designed in a quadrangular that houses more than 50 rooms. The internal arcaded courtyard is decorated with marble columns, there’s also a cylindrical tower, a dungeon, a music room, a gallery, a billiards room, and a weapons room. In the 18thcentury more trees were planted to surround the castle’s English style gardens, the façade and some of the rooms were renovated at this time. The Castle serves as a Museum of Military Costume and has a Spa and Wellness center. Castello Di Rivalta is open to the public from February to November.
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.
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 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.
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.
Dalmunzie Castle is located in County Perthshire in Blairgowrie, Scotland. The 16thcentury castle was built in the Scottish Baronial style and sits on a 6500-acre estate. The turreted castle is surrounded by mountains, glens, rivers, and its own golf course. The castle serves as a hotel with 20 unique themed rooms named after influential clans in Dalmunzie’s history over the last 500 years. During the period of 1782-1813 the MacKintosh family had financial difficulties and the castle fell into ruin. An L-shaped hunting lodge was built on the site in 1874, a larger lodge was built in 1884, and a Victorian wing was added in the 1890’s. The Gaelic language had been used in the Glenshee area for thousands of years, but disappeared during the late 19thcentury. After 350 years of ownership, the castle was purchased in 1920 by Sir Archibald Birkmyre. Birkmyre built a new driveway, Britain’s highest golf course, and a 2.5-mile railway to Glenlochsie Lodge. He also extended the main house by adding an Edwardian wing, the oak tower, and expanded the stables and staff cottages. Dalmunzie was used as a base during WWII. Dirkmyre sold the estate to a decorated WWII fighter pilot known as DW. DW transformed the castle into a country house hotel. The railway was removed in the 1970’s and the hotel was sold to the Campbell family in 1980. In 1987, the castle sold again, and in 2013 Roger Aston refurbished the castle into the hotel it is today.
Broomhall Castle is located in the county of Clackmannanshire in Menstrie village, Scotland. The Baronial castle was built in 1874 for James Johnstone. The three-story castle has a tower and was used as Johnstone’s private residence until his businesses fell into decline. The castle was sold to the Italian Riding School in 1906. In 1910, the Castle was sold to the Clifford Park Boys Prep School, with 10 boarders. The castle suffered through fire in 1941. The roof fell in and the building was gutted. Thankfully the German Schoolmaster had taken the boys out of the castle for a midnight feast when the fire occurred. Unfortunately, the fire allowed German planes to bomb the Clyde shipyards, and to safely fly away across the Ochil Hills. I’m unsure if this attack was planned in part by the German Schoolmaster, but it definitely sounds like a possibility. Broomhall Castle became a ruin until 1985 when it was rebuilt into a nursing home. In 2003, the castle was converted into a hotel with 16 en-suite bedrooms, a restaurant, and a lounge.
Cabra Castle is located in County Cavan, Ireland. The 19thcentury castle’s exterior was built in a neo Norman style, while the interior carries a Gothic design. The castle was built by the Foster family, who unfortunately went bankrupt due to the castle’s construction costs. In 1813, the castle was sold to the wealthy Pratt family, who owned substantial holdings in the area. They renamed Comey Castle to Cabra Castle in 1820. The castle estate remained with the Pratt family until 1964, when it was sold to the Brennan family. It was the Brennan family who transformed the castle into a hotel. The hotel was closed when the castle estate was sold again in 1986 to Mr. Mansour. In 1991, the castle was sold to the Corscadden family. The Corscadden’s restored the castle and reopened it as a four-star luxury hotel. The castle estate boasts one hundred acres of parkland and gardens, with an on-site 9-hole golf course, tennis, a gate lodge, and six cottages. Cabra Castle has 105 bedrooms, a bar, a restaurant, and conference rooms.
Glin Castle is located in County Limerick in Glin, Ireland. Thomas
FitzGerald built the first castle around the 1200’s, and its ruins are still
visible. John Bateman FitzGerald, the 25th Knight of Glin, built the current
castle in the late 1700’s. The Castle has been the seat of the Knights of Glin
for seven centuries. The last Knight of Glin died in 2011 and the title died
with him. The estate is set on 380 acres on the Shannon Estuary, with a walled
garden and a working dairy farm. The Georgian house is castellated with
battlements, gatehouses, and follies in the Regency and Gothic style. The three
level 20,550 square foot home was built for entertaining and has a drawing
room, a dining room, a smoking room, a library, and nine bedroom suites.
There’s also an adjoining wing with three more reception rooms and five more
bedrooms. The grand hall makes a statement with Corinthian columns, an ornate
Adams-style ceiling, and Venetian windows. Irish symbols of shamrocks and the
FitzGerald crest of a boar, make up some of the décor. The interior boasts a
double flying staircase off the first hall, the only one of its kind in
Ireland. The castle’s top floor was refurbished and operated as a country hotel
from 1993-2008. Glin Castle was on the market for €6.5 million in 2015, but was recently
taken off the market in 2017 as the owners decided to hold onto their ancestral
home. Glin Castle is now operating it as a wedding and event venue.