As you know, I live in the UK and if there’s one thing we have a lot of here, it’s castles. Perhaps too many! Whether you’re new to the castle viewing business or a veteran of admiring hardened military fortifications, the sheer amount of choice can be a little daunting.
So, in this article, I aim to simplify matters a little by reviewing some castles and hopefully take the hassle out of choosing which castle to look at.
So let’s go!
Leeds Castle has been described by some as “the loveliest castle in the world,” presumably by people that aren’t aware that Neuschwanstein exists. However, due to inadequacies in the architecture and building materials, this castle is extremely susceptible to being hit by small, round objects; a threat the owners take very seriously.
Four castles out of five
A rare example of a “floating” castle, Bodiam was constructed mainly from buoyant materials such as cork or tennis balls. According to historians, Henry VIII himself would often take Bodiam for a cruise down the River Thames and throw lavish parties onboard. I bet they had some wild times!
Three castles out of five
Dover Castle was originally in the running to play Winterfell in the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, it was unable to attend the filming of the pilot and the part went to another castle instead. Dover Castle is currently playing a small role in Law & Order: UK.
Seven stars out of ten
Alnwick is well known for being a shooting location in the Harry Potter movies, and so is swarming with insufferable tourists at all times. Personally, I don’t think castles are here to merely provide amusement for us; they should be allowed to roam free in the wild, unhindered as their designers intended.
80% of a castle
At first glance, Lindisfarne can easily be mistaken for a featureless, uninteresting piece of rock. And you’d be correct to assume this; always go with your instincts when judging a castle.
In an embarrassing blunder, Bamburgh was actually built on an island, meaning that for much of the day it is inaccessible by land! Obviously, this was extremely inconvenient for anyone that lived inside and so the castle was eventually abandoned by its inhabitants. It has since been converted into a supermarket/restaurant complex.
Six castles out of twelve castles
Being slap bang in the middle of Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh Castle traditionally had some of the highest living costs of the medieval era. In fact, some scholars speculate that the financial issues that forced Scotland into a union with England was partly caused by several overdue rent payments from the sitting tenant at the time.
Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie, O, what a panic’s in thy breastie! Thou need na start awa sae hasty, Wi’ bickering brattle!
Severely stretching the definition of what a castle is, Totnes is basically just a big wall for people to hide behind in event of attack. That’s not what a castle should be, in my humble opinion. A castle has to have banners, flaming torches, possibly piles of hay in it, that kind of thing. The late addition of a single flag to appease public protest was met with derision.
No castles. Not one.
Dudley Castle was named after its owner and commissioner, Dudley Castle. Alas, due to a lack of funding, the castle was never completed and the project was abandoned before construction could be completed. Attempts to salvage some usefulness out of the structure with a flimsy wire fence around the perimeter did not prove effective.
½ a castle
The TV show Castle
You knew this was coming, didn’t you? I’ve never actually watched this show, so can’t really comment on it. Is he a detective or something? And there’s a will-they-won’t-they thing with his co-star? I like Nathan Fillion, he seems like a nice chap. He was in Saving Private Ryan as Private Ryan, but not the right one. Fuck, Ted Danson was in that film as well. Weird.
Ten out of ten castles
Well I hope you’ve found this article useful, folks, and if you want to recommend any of your own favourite castles, please feel free to write them down on a piece of paper and throw it in the trash.