Risto's British site


British Castles, Stately Homes and Houses

The map with links and the alphabetical list of those of the British Castles, Stately Homes and Houses that I have visited since 1967. All the photos attached are self-taken while visiting the places. You will see the photos by clicking photo after each name. The latest additions are:
Astley Hall, Attingham Park, Down House, Elgar Museum, Lower Brockhampton

See also the Scottish version of this site.

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  1. Eastnor Castle photo,
    Herefordshire, looks like a perfect example of a traditional castle from medieval times, but was actually built between 1812-24, when the wealthy 2nd Baron Somers commisioned architect Robert Smirke to plan him a home to reflect the personality and stature of its creator. Eastnor has been in almost continuous occupation by his descendants since 1818, the present owner James Hervey-Bathurst and his wife, Sarah, came to live in the Castle in 1988. Since then, all the State rooms as well as most of the other principal rooms have been restored and the interiors have regained much of their 19th century splendour. Have you ever wanted to stay overnight in a real castle? Eastnor has 11 guest bedrooms - four with four-poster beds - individually designed with great style by Sarah Hervey-Bathurst.
  2. Edinburgh Castle photo,
    Lothian, Scotland, high up on the volcanic rock; Crown Room with the Scottish Royal crown and other regalia. It is not the most beautiful of the Scottish Castles, but it certainly is Scotland's most famous castle, number one tourist attraction with one million visitors every year!
  3. Egremont Castle photo,
    Egremont, Cumbria, was built about 1130-1140 by William de Meschines to whom Henry I. gave the barony of Coupland, but there was an earlier Norman mound near this site. Egremont Castle has been in ruins for 300 years, but the gatehouse and parts of the walls are still standing. Though much of this strong fortress has yielded to the all-destroying hand of time, enough still remains to point out to posterity its former magnificence.
  4. Eilean Donan Castle photo,
    Kyle of Lochals, Highlands, was built during Scotland's Alexander II's reign (1214-1250). His son Alexander III gave the castle to Colin Fitzgerald, the predecessor of Clan MacKenzie. In 1719 the castle was defeated by the four English frigates and fell to ruins for 200 years. Colonel John MacRae-Gilstrap and Farquhar MacRae rebuilt the castle between 1912 and 1932 at a cost of £250,000. . Each detail was faithful to the original plan. The countryside surrounding Eilean Donan is of exceptional beauty and grandeur, with breathtaking mountain, loch and forest scenery. Eilean Donan Castle is owned by the Conchra Charitable Trust. The principal activity of the Trust is the preservation of the Castle and to keep it open to the public. Eilean Donan has been location in several movies. among them "Highlander" and James Bond movie "The World Is Not Enough".
  5. The Elgar Birthplace Museum photo,
    Broadheath, Worcester, contains the small cottage, where Edward Elgar was born in 1857. Elgar lived most of his life in the town of Worcester, but this cottage is a place redolent with the atmosphere of his life and music. Following his father's wishes, Elgar's daughter Carice set up a Museum here after his death in 1934. In 1990s a start was made on a new Centre, and finally on 19 October, 2000, The Edgar Birthplace and Visitor Centre was officially opened. The collections include manuscripts, scores, programmes and other items connected with Elgar's music; family photographs; items connected with his travels and with his hobbies including golf and cycling; personal possessions, awards and honours, and film of his later years.
  6. Eltham Palace photo ,
    Eltham, London, was a royal palace built in 14th and 15th centuries, King Edward II first used Eltham in 1311 as a royal residence and Henry VIII also enjoyed the Palace spending much time here in his early life, In 1930s Stephen and Virginia Courtauld had the house redesigned adjoining the medieval Great Hall with an ultra-modern Art Deco home. After WW2 the Army educational units occupied the site until 1992, and the whole property was re-opened in 1999 after a three year period of restoration.
  7. Erddig photo,
    Wrexham, Clwyd, Wales; a fascinating house where the unusually close relationship existed between the family of the house and their servants in 19th and early 20th century; fine state rooms,
  8. Eyam Hall photo,
    Derbyshire, 'plaque village' ; built 1671 and still occupied by the Wright family ; Jacobean staircase; spectacular old kitchen
  9. Falkland Palace photo,
    Fife, Scotland, was built in early 16th century and was used as a hunting lodge by several Stuart monarchs; the palace has one of the world's oldest 'Real Tennis' courts still in use;
  10. Farnborough Hall photo,
    Warwickshire; Ambrose Holbech bought Farnborough in 1684 and the Holbech family still lives in the house. The house was rebuilt in early 18th century and more space was made for the sculpture and art William Holbech brought back from his Grand Tour. He also wanted the house look more like the houses he had seen and loved in Italy. The interior rococo plasterwork is quite outstanding. The paintings by the old masters (Canaletto, Panini) have been replaced by copies while the originals were sold in 1929. The garden has two charming 18th century temples and a beautiful terrace walk. The house was passed to the National Trust in 1960.
  11. Floors Castle photo,
    Kelso, Borders, Scotland, the home of Duke of Roxburghe ; see the article of IN BRITAIN, April 1997
  12. Forde Abbey photo,
    Chard, Somerset, was founded around in 1140 as a Cistercian monastery having been one of the most learned and wealthy monasteries for four hundred years. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536-41 Forde Abbey came into private ownership, and has been a charming country house ever since. The house is famous for its plaster ceilings, fine pictures and furniture. The gardens from late 18th C. and the highest powered fountain in England are all well worth a visit to this fascinating Stately Home.
  13. Framlingham Castle photo,
    Suffolk, a 12th century castle , the outer walls and 13 towers still remaining almost unchanged, was built by the Bigod earls of Norfolk as a fortified residence, belonged in 16th century to Queen Mary Tudor and was later used as a school and also as a poorhouse; now a museum
  14. Fursdon House photo,
    Devon, has been the home of 23 generations of the Fursdon family since the 13th century and 2009 will mark the 750th anniversary of the family's ownership. The present house was rebuilt in the 18th century and the last major addition to the house was the library wing in 1815. A visitor will see family portraits and paintings, antique and contemporary furniture and 18th and 19th century family costumes. There are two elegant apartments to rent as the self catering holiday accommodation.
  15. Fyvie Castle photo,
    Grampian, Scotland, was started in the 13th century, but the south front's five round towers were each built in a different century by one of the families who lived there; this glorious castle has fashionable plasterwork and panelling, the famous haunted Wheel Staircase and there are portraits by Romney, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Hoppner, and Raeburn; in 1889 Alexander Forbes-Leith, later Lord Leith of Fyvie, used the fortune he had made in the American steel industry to buy the estate and restore Fyvie to be one of the richest castles in Scotland;
  16. Gawsworth Hall photo,
    Macclesfield, Cheshire, was originally built as a Norman house, rebuilt in 1480 as a half-timbered manor house - extensive re-modelling took place in 1701; the house was the subject of the most famous duel in British history, fought in 1712 between Lord Mohun and the Duke of Hamilton over the estates when both duellists were killed; today the home of Timothy and Elizabeth Roper-Richards; the house gives instantly an impression of a warm and friendly atmosphere; an Open Air Theatre from late June until August with popular plays, concerts and opera
  17. Gawthorpe Hall photo,
    Padiham, Lancashire, a three-storey Jacobean house, was built in 1605 as the home for the Shuttleworth family. Between 1850 and 1852 the Hall was restored by architect Sir Charles Barry, who also designed the Houses of Parliament. Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth was the last member of the family to live at Gawthorpe. After her death the house and grounds were given in 1970 to the National Trust. Kay-Shuttleworth's nationally important collections of the needlework, lace, textiles and costumes are housed here.
  18. Gladstone's Land photo,
    in the Royal Mile , Edinburgh, represents urban Scottish high-tenement housing from 17th century.
  19. Glamis Castle photo,
    Angus, Scotland, home of the family of the Strathmore and Kinghorne since 1372, the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the birthplace of The Princess Margaret; building of the present castle started about 1400; magnificent palace-like rooms with fine plasterwork ceilings; an interesting museum called "The Family Exhibition"; extensive park with Italian Garden
  20. Goodrich Castle photo,
    Herefordshire; the ruins of a castle built in the late 1130's in the reign of King Stephen by Gilbert de Clare. In the 13th century Goodrich came into the possession of the wealthy de Valence family, who made substantial renovations there. The Castle became disused in16th century, but during the Civil War it was occupied by a Parliamentarian garrison in 1643, who were replaced in 1645 by Royalists and next year attacked by the Roundheads. After the Civil War the castle was partly demolished to prevent it being used defensively again, and it gradually fell into disrepair, but is still fairly well preserved.
  21. Goodwood House,
    West Sussex, started as a hunting lodge built in 1616/17 by the 13th Earl of Northumberland. The House has grown during the centuries into the present magnificent palace of elegance and glamour. In the Georgian period, Goodwood was the country seat of the glamorous Lennox sisters, who were immortalised in the BBC's acclaimed drama series 'Aristocrats'. Goodwood is owned and lived in by the Earl and Countess of March and their young children, and provides a stunning setting for one of the most significant private art collections in the country. Richly refurbished to their original Regency elegance, notable are the State Apartments with an Egyptian State Dining Room, grand Yellow Drawing Room and a breathtaking Ballroom. The walls are lined with fine collection of paintings (including a number from Van Dyck, Reynolds, Stubbs and Canaletto). The fine French furniture transports visitors back to 18th century Paris. Goodwood is also famous for its horse racing as well as motor racing.
  22. Gosford House photo,
    Lothian, Scotland, home of the Wemyss-Charteris family, designed by Robert Adam , completed in 1800, Italian renaissance paintings
  23. Groombridge Place photo,
    Kent, is a classical 17th century manor surrounded by a medieval moat with beautiful formal gardens and the famous Enchanted Forest, loved by children and adults alike; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a frequent visitor here and the place inspired him to set a dramatic scene here in his Sherlock Holmes mystery The Valley of Fear. Groombridge Place stars in the 2005 movie of Pride & Prejudice.
  24. Haddo House photo,
    Grampian; this sophisticated, classic English-style Palladian mansion by William Adam was built in 1730s for William, 2nd Earl of Aberdeen, on the site of an old tower house; the splendid interior is from 1880s;
  25. Haddon Hall photo,
    Derbyshire, a typical English country house with famous rose garden
  26. Hadrian's Wall photo,
    Northumberland, was built as a barrier to separate Romans from the barbarians; interesting Housestead museum telling about Roman life;
  27. Hagley Hall photo,
    Worcestershire, is the 18th Century home of the Viscount and Viscountess Cobham. Commissioned by George, the 1st Lord Lyttelton in 1756 and designed by Sanderson Miller, it was the last of the great Palladian houses to be built. Van Dyck paintings, a collection of Chippendale furniture and exquisite examples of Rococo plasterwork by Francesco Vassali. After the disastrous fire of Christmas Eve 1925, the house was painstakingly completely restored. Hagley Hall, with its rich Rococo decoration, surrounded by picturesque parkland, is a remarkable tribute to the artistic achievements of the great 18th Century amateurs but still remains a much loved family home.
  28. Hall Place and Gardens photo,
    Bexley, Kent, was built in 1537-1540 for Sir John Champneis, a Lord Mayor of London, has changed ownership many times, and during the first half of the 19th Century it even existed as a school. Now owned by Bexley Council, some of its rooms are open to the public. A magnificent Great Hall contains an 18th century chamber organ built by George England. Hall Place houses Bexley Museum and galleries that offer a changing programme of exhibitions throughout the year. The award-winning gardens at Hall Place have been open to the public since 1952. They include a special herb garden for the blind, a Tudor-style rose garden and an unusual topiary display depicting chess pieces and twelve heraldic animals known as the `Queen's Beasts'.
  29. Hammerwood Park photo,
    West Sussex, built in 1792 as the first work of Latrobe , the architect of The White House and The Capitol, Washington DC. The present owner bought it in 1982 to rescue it from dereliction and the family has made extensive restoration works without public funds
  30. Hampton Court Castle and Garden photo,
    Herefordshire, is a late medieval castle set in tranquil surroundings on the meadows of the river Lugg. The Hampton Court Estate has a rich and fascinating history dating back to before the 15th Century. It was granted by Henry IV to Sir Rowland Lenthall, who built the original quadrangular manor house in 1427, twelve years after his knighthood at the battle of Agincourt. In the early 19th Century the estate was purchased by Richard Arkwright, and his son, John, comissioned the remodelling of the house in the 1830's and 40's. Most recently the present owners have restored the castle almost entirely and its current condition is very luxurious and full of character. Owned by 'Sola Scriptura', an American non-profit organisation funded by the Van Kampen family, Hampton Court Castle is a private home of the family and it is not open to the public. But the extensive and spectacular Van Kampen Gardens can be enjoyed from April to October throughout the day. The Castle is available for use as a venue for private functions only.
  31. Hampton Court Palace photo ,
    Surrey, of Henry VIII , fine state rooms , large garden with famous maze
  32. Hanbury Hall photo ,
    Worcestershire near Droitwich; red brick house built in 1700; outstanding ceilings and Watney collection of porcelain
  33. Hardwick Hall photo,
    Derbyshire, Bess of Hardwick; unusually large windows, the "Long Gallery" 166 feet long; fine hedged garden. The readers of the National Trust Magazine can find a long article about Hardwick in the Magazine's Spring 1997 issue
  34. Hardwick Old Hall photo,
    Derbyshire, Bess of Hardwick built the new Hall and left this one unused
  35. Hardy's Cottage photo,
    Dorset, birthplace of Thomas Hardy
  36. Harewood photo,
    Yorkshire, magnificent house , 'Capability' Brown park and bird garden
  37. Harlech Castle photo
    King Edward I of England built Harlech in the late 13th century to keep a watchful eye over Snowdonia. It was one of the most formidable of his 'iron ring' of fortresses designed to contain the Welsh in their mountain fastness. In 1404 it was taken by Welsh leader Owain Glyndwr who proceeded to hold a parliament here. A long siege here during the Wars of the Roses inspired the stirring song 'Men of Harlech'. During the Civil War (1642-48), Harlech was the last Royalist stronghold to be lost, its fall signifying the end of the war. Like many other Royalist strongholds the castle was rendered untenable by the victorious Parliamentarians. A demolition order was issued after the war, but was never carried out. World Heritage Site.
  38. Hartlebury Castle photo,
    Worcestershire, home to the Bishops of Worcester for over a thousand years and now also the County Museum of Worcestershire. Nothing remains of the medieval exterior of Hartlebury Castle, for the original fortress was sieged, looted and ruined by Roundhead troops in 1646. The present three-wing mansion was built 30 years later with 18th century alterations including many arched windows. The Bishop of Worcester's House is in the south wing by a chapel, the north wing holds the Worcester County Museum and the central block contains the State Rooms, which are used for various public and religious events.
  39. Hatchlands Park photo ,
    Guildford, Surrey, an outstanding country house built 1757 for Admiral Boscawen; Robert Adam's nautical style designs for the interior are dated 1759. The Cobbe collection of early keyboard instruments.
  40. Hatfield House photo,
    Hertfordshire, a celebrated Jacobean house built 1611, a wing built 1497 where Elizabeth I spent much of her girlhood.
  41. Heaton Hall photo,
    Manchester, a neo-classical house with impressive 18th century interiors.
  42. Hedingham Castle photo,
    is one of the finest and best preserved Norman keeps in England, built by Aubrey de Vere in 1140, home of de Veres and Earls of Oxford for 550 years and still owned by a descendant of the Earls of Oxford; the castle has the largest Norman arch in Europe, the way to the castle comes across a Tudor bridge built in 1496
  43. Helmsley Castle photo,
    Yorkshire, the remains of the earliest castle, was built on a slighty rocky eminence between 1186 and 1227 by Robert de Roos. The oldest stonework is late 12th century but throughout the middle ages the castle was strengthened and modernised. Though strongly defended, the castle saw no action until the Civil War of the 17th century, when after a siege by parliamentary forces its defences were dismantled. The only buildings still in good repair today are the west tower and the later mansion build by Edward Manners, the 3rd Earl of Rutland who owned the site from 1563 to 1587. The mansion was abandoned in the early 18th century in favour of a new house in the adjacent Duncombe Park. Little else remains for the visitor to gain an impression of the wonderful combination of strength and domestic comfort that once existed here.
  44. Hermitage Castle photo,
    Borders, was built in 15th century on the site of the in 1242 built timber castle and looks like a fortified manor house instead of a great stronghold; the castle in the much disputed Liddesdale near the border between England and Scotland has witnessed many wars in this rather isolated and lonely valley; was ruined in the beginning of 17th century and partly restored in the 19th century;
  45. Herstmonceux Castle photo
    East Sussex, the oldest brick building of any note still standing in England was started in 1441, was ruined and decaying after the middle of 18th century and was mentioned in 1890 as "an ivycovered ruin inhabited by owls and jackdaws". Finally, the vast restoration works started in 1912 and were completed in 1930's. This magnificent moated castle was bought in 1992 by Queen's University, Ontario, with a gift from Dr. Alfred and Mrs. Isabel Bader and is now an International Study Centre ; also open to the visitors.
  46. Hever Castle photo,
    Kent, a moated castle; home of Ann Boleyn, Astor family since 1903; a maze and a water maze
  47. Highclere Castle photo,
    Hampshire, was built by the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon in 1842, his son, the 4th Earl, arranged the rooms. Designed by Sir Charles Barry, architect of the Houses of Parliament, Highclere is considered the finest Victorian home still in existence. Visitors can trace the steps taken by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon when in 1922 with the Egyptologist Howard Carter he discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. Highclere also boasts an exhibition depicting the family's interest in horse racing. The parkland by 'Capability' Brown is spectacularly beautiful, featuring magnificent lawns, a walled garden, glasshouses and a fermery.
  48. Highcliffe Castle photo,
    Dorset, is a Grade I listed building which was designed by architect William Donthorne, a founder member of RIBA, and built between 1831 and 1835 by Lord Stuart de Rothesay. The grounds were laid out earlier by Capability Brown. The castle remained in the family until 1950 when much of the estate was sold. At the beginning of the 50s the Castle was a children's home, before being sold in 1953 to the Claretian Missionary fathers as firstly a noviciate, then for use as a seminary. Fires in 1967 and 1968 damaged the building, areas such as the East Tower were demolished or removed. The remaining valuable stained glass was also removed for storage. The continuous adverse affects of the weather contributed to the rapid deterioration of the building fabric. Christchurch Borough Council compulsorily purchased the ruined Highcliffe Castle in January 1977. In 1995 an application to the newly launched National Lottery to fund the final phase of repair was successful and was completed in November 1998 when the final scaffold was removed. The council took over the management of the castle as a tourist attraction comprising gift shop, exhibition spaces, tea room and ground events.
  49. Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse photo,
    Fife, was built in 1906 for a Dundee industrialist, Frederick Sharp, and is a perfect setting for his notable collection of French and Chippendale furniture and also fine paintings by Raeburn, Ramsay and Dutch artists;
  50. Hoghton Tower photo,
    Hoghton nr. Preston, Lancashire, home of de Hoghton family, built in 1565 by Thomas Hoghton on the land owned by the family since the time of William the Conqueror. In the magnificent Banqueting Hall James I in 1617 knighted a loin of beef to "Sirloin". Excellent guided tours for visitors.
  51. Holker Hall photo,
    Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria, was first mentioned in public records early 16th century, has been the home of the Cavendish family since 1756. The house was destroyed by fire in 1871 and rebuilt on a grand scale. Holker Hall Lakeland Motor Museum with its Sir Malcom Campbell memories photo is well worth a visit.
  52. Holkham Hall photo,
    Norfolk, a fine 18th century Palladian mansion, a majestic stately home , magnificent alabaster Entrance Hall, fine paintings
  53. Hopetoun House photo,
    Lothian, Scotland, an Adam Mansion, paintings by Rubens, Teniers, Canaletto, Titian; museum souvenirs Australia and India
  54. House of Dun photo,
    Montrose, Fife, a William Adam country house built in 1730 for David Erskine, Lord Dun; modernised in 19th century by John Erskine Kennedy-Erskine and was the home of the Erskine family until WW2, after which it was changed to an hotel; the house was bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1980, completely restored and reopened to the public in 1989 by H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother; Violet Jacob, the Poet and Author (1863-1946) was born here as the daughter of William Henry Kennedy-Erskine;
  55. House of The Binns photo,
    Lothian, the home of the Dalyell family since 1612, when it was built by Thomas Dalyell, an Edinburgh butter merchant; fine Italian-style plasterwork and a collection of family paintings; was gifted to The National Trust for Scotland in 1944
  56. Hughenden Manor photo,
    High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, the former home of Benjamin Disraeli, the Conservative Prime Minister in 1868 and again from 1874 to 1880. Disraeli was said to be the favourite Prime Minister of Queen Victoria. The house is very comfortable and in spite of having been a museum since Disraeli died in 1881 it still has the feeling of a real home, giving also lots of information about this interesting man and his marriage.
  57. Hunting Tower Castle photo,
    Pertshire, was built as a tower house in late 15th century by the Ruthven family ; another tower was built in 16th century and the space between the two towers was built a century later to make the castle look more like a regular country mansion; known for its painted ceilings from 1540
  58. Hutton-in-the-Forest photo,
    Cumbria, the home of Lord Inglewood's family since 1605, built around a medieval pele tower, fine collections of furniture and paintings; outstanding garden with unique 'Meet the Gardener' guided walks
  59. Ickworth House photo,
    Suffolk, built 1795; the oval Rotunda with collections of fine paintings and silver; Italianate garden; 'Capability' Brown park
  60. Ightham Mote photo,
    Kent, a moated manor house ; Medieval Great Hall; Robinson Library; lovely garden, a National Trust Property
  61. Inveraray Castle photo,
    Argyll, Scotland, home of the Duke of Argyll's family, the senior branch of the Campbell Clan; the present castle , a large classical mansion with corner towers and turrets, was built in 1741-85 to replace the earlier fortified keep; the famous Armoury Hall contains 1300 pieces; the French tapestries were made especially for the Castle; fine examples of Scottish and European furniture, china, silver and family artifacts;
  62. Inverlochy Castle photo,
    Fort William, Invernesshire, the badly ruined castle was built in the 13th C. by the Comyns of Badenoch. It was bombarded in the spring of 1746 by Jacobites, but could not be taken. It was garrisoned until 1866, after which most of it was demolished. Confusion is sometimes caused by a 19th Century luxury hotel under the name "Inverlochy Castle", which is only two miles north of the old castle.
  63. Inverness Castle photo,
    Inverness, Highlands, a neo-Norman castle built in 1836 now stands on the site of an 11th century royal stone enclosure fortress, which was blown up by the Jacobites in 1746. The Castle contains the offices of local government and law courts. In the Drum Tower there is an exhibition about the castle story and is open daily during the summer season.
  64. Kedleston Hall photo,
    Derbyshire, home of the Curzon Family; Robert Adam's elegant masterpiece
  65. Kendal Castle, photo,
    Cumbria, was built in the early 1200's as the home of the barons of Kendal. The Parr family is the best known of the baronial families, the most famous member being Katherine Parr, the sixth and last Queen of Henry VIII. During the Tudor period (16th century), the Castle was abandoned and became a ruin, and has remained so ever since. The ruined castle stands on a high hill surrounded on all sides by a deep and steep sided moat, and from there the wonderful view to all directions can be seen.
  66. Kenilworth Castle photo ,
    Warwickshire, reputedly the largest castle ruin in England, was founded in 1120 for defense with walls six metres thick and in the 14th century the castle was transformed into a palatial home. During the English civil war Cromwell's troops demolished the castle. Sir Walter Scott was inspired to set his novel 'Kenilworth' here. The Penny Magazine - July 31, 1835 had a long article about Kenilworth.
  67. Kensington Palace State Apartments photo,
    London, originally a private country house called Nottingham House, was acquired by William III and Mary II in 1689 and was adapted for royal residence by Sir Christopher Wren. The Palace has been the actual home of so many members of the Royal Family. Princess Diana used to live here; Princess Margaret, The Duke of Kent, The Duke of Gloucester, The Prince of Kent all have their offices and London residences here, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary were born here. The State Apartments are home to the large exhibition of the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection.
  68. Kenwood House photo,
    London, one of London's finest houses; the Iveagh Bequest paintings and furniture,
  69. Kidwelly Castle photo,
    South Wales, was established on the estuary of the river Gwendraeth in 1106 by Roger, bishop of Salisbury, soon after the Norman conquest, to defend the road to west Wales. In 1231 Llywelyn the Great attacked the castle causing considerable damage. The castle was rebuilt by Patrick de Chaworth and repelled another attack in the 1250's. However, most of the castle seen today dates from the 1270's. On the accession Henry IV in 1299 Kidwelly became Crown property. The castle passed finally to the Earls of Cawdor to whom it still belongs. Kidwelly is today the best preserved castle ruins in Carmartenshire.
  70. Kilchurn Castle photo,
    by Loch Awe in Argyll, Scotland; the keep of the castle was built in 1440 Sir Colin Campbell of Glenorchy, founder of the Breadalbane family; later centuries the castle was extended large enough even to house three companies of soldiers; was abandoned in 1760 and ruined, but some restoring work is going on now;
  71. Killerton House photo,
    Devon; was rebuilt in 1778 for the Aclands, one of the oldest families in Devon. The house is furnished as a family home and has this unique 'the 'Paulise de Bush' costume collection, with over 9,000 outfits. The garden is the great glory of Killerton. It was created in the 1770s by renowned nurseryman and landscape designer John Veitch, and features an abundance of rhododendrons, magnolias, herbaceous borders and rare trees, as well as an early 19th C. ice house and a rustic summerhouse The Bear's Hut, where the family's pet bear was kept in 1960's. Most of the estates were given in 1942 to the National Trust
  72. Kingston Lacy photo ,
    Wimborne Minster, Dorset, a fine 17th century House designed for Sir Ralph Bankes after the demolition of the Corfe Castle. Kingston Lacy is famous for its magnificent interiors, the fabulous gilded leather Spanish Room and its outstanding collection of paintings by Rubens, Titian, van Dyck and Velasquez; Edwardian garden with Victorian fernery;
  73. Knebworth photo,
    Hertfordshire, has been the home of the Lytton family since 1490, when the present house was built by Sir Robert Knebworth. It was, however, mentioned already in the Domesday Book 1085. The House was greatly altered in 19th century by the famous novelist Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton into a Gothic Palace with domes, turrets, gargoyles and stained glass. In the 20th century Sir Winston Churchill was a frequent guest of Victor, 2nd Earl of Lytton and his wife Pamela. Knebworth has 250 acres of parkland famous for its open-air rock concerts and has been used as a location for films like Batman and The Shooting Party. There is an interesting Indian exhibition from the time 1876-80 when Robert, 1st Earl of Lytton, was the Viceroy of India.
  74. Knole photo,
    Kent, House with 365 rooms, granted to Thomas Sackville by Elizabeth I in 1603. Knole's furniture, embroidered textiles and tapestries, ornate plaster ceilings and carved chimneypieces are a reflection of the superb craftsmanship which created the house. Family paintings include work by Van Dyck, Kneller, Lely, Hoppner and Wootton. There is a whole room devoted to the work of Sir Joshua Reynolds.
  75. Lancaster Castle photo,
    Lancaster, Lancashire, is still a working castle being both the Crown Court and Her Majesty's Prison. There was a Roman fort on this site 1900 years ago, the first parts of the present castle were built in 1093 and the most magnificent part of the castle - the Gatehouse - was built around 1400.
  76. Lancaster House photo,
    London, was built in 1820s by Frederick, second son of King George III. Frederick died before the house was finished and it was leased to the Marquess of Stafford and named to Stafford House. In 1912 the lease was bought by Viscount Leverhulme, the house renamed to Lancaster House and the lease given to the nation. The London Museum occupied the house until after the WW2; wonderfully decorated; a splendid great Staircase Hall Staircase Hall; venue of international meetings; at the moment not open to the public
  77. Laugharne Castle photo,
    Laugharne, South Wales, at the mouth of the River Taf, the ruinous Welsh coastal fortress that was converted into an luxurious Elizabethan mansion by Sir John Perrot in 1584. During the Civil War, Laugharne was captured by Royalists in 1644, but was quickly re-taken by besieging Roundheads. The castle was partially destroyed soon afterwards and gradually fell into decay. Later the romantic ruins became the backdrop for a delightful Georgian and Victorian garden which is being recreated using exclusively Victorian flowers and plants. The restoration began in 1973. .
  78. Leeds Castle photo,
    Kent, built on two islands in a lake, restored and beautifully furnished ; a Dog Collar Museum ; golf course; sometimes open-air concerts
  79. Leighton Hall photo,
    Carnforth, Lancashire; a fortified manor was here in 1246, and since then there have been 26 owners of the property, the present owner is Richard Gillow Reynolds; the house is beautifully situated with the Lakeland mountains behind it, the facade is in neo-Gothic style of early 19th century, as the new wing was built in 1870; home to a collection of birds of prey on display and flown for visitors
  80. Levens Hall photo,
    Cumbria, magnificent Elizabethan home ; famous Topiary Gardens; working model as well as full-sized steam engines
  81. Lincoln Castle photo,
    Lincolnshire, was built by William the Conqueror in 1068; museum with Magna Carta and unique Victorian prison chapel; Crown Court sittings weekdays.
  82. Linlithgow Palace, Hall photo,
    Edinburgh, Lothian, the magnificent remains of the great royal palace; the previous castle on the site was built form timber and earth and was distroyed by fire in 1424 and the modern royal residence was built to be complete in 1513; later one of the finest Renaissance façades in Scotland was completed here in 1624; Linlithgow Palace is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, but it was the favoured residence of many of the Stuart monarchs; in 1745 the Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed here and troops of the Duke of Cumberlands army were billeted in the palace leaving it burning in February 1746; it has been an impressive ruin ever since.
  83. Little Malvern Court photo,
    Worcestershire, has been the home of the Berington family by descent since the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. It consists of two distinct parts, the remains of a 14th century Prior's Hall once attached to a 12th century Benedictine Priory and a Victorian manor house addition by Hansom. The visitor can see Family and European paintings and furniture and a collection of 18th and 19th century needlework. In the gardens there are lakes, garden rooms, terrace and magnificent views. Flowers include a wide variety of spring bulbs, old fashioned roses, shrubs and trees.
  84. Little Moreton Hall photo,
    Cheshire, one of the best surviving Tudor timberframed houses, built around 1450, restored recently by National Trust.
  85. Loch Leven Castle photo,
    Fife, Scotland, a castle on an island of lake Loch Leven was started as a wooden Castle in 1290s being an English fortification; the ownership of the castle was changed many times between the Scots and the English; in 1350 the stone tower house was added to the Castle and later a stone courtyard wall; in 1567 Mary, Queen of Scots, was a prisoner at the Castle for almost a year; the Castle was abandoned in 1690 and is a ruin.
  86. Longleat House photo,
    Wiltshire, fine Elizabethan building, famous paintings, 'Capability' Brown park, Safari park.
  87. Lord Leighton's Home and Museum,
    London, of High Victorian taste; the astounding Arab Hall, Pre-Raphaelite paintings by Lord Leighton and others.
  88. Loseley Park photo,
    Guildford, Surrey, built in 1562 by Sir William More, is a fine example of Elizabethan architecture, its mellow stone brought from the ruins of Waverley Abbey in Farnham, now over 850 years old. The More-Molyneux Family still owns the House. The House features many fine works of art including paintings, tapestries and panelling from Henry VIII's Nonsuch Palace. The Great Hall, with its wealth of character and atmosphere, lends itself so well to banquets, civil wedding ceremonies and small operas. Loseley is also known as a Jersey-type dairy-farm!
  89. Lower Brockhampton House photo,
    Herefordshire, is a rare survival of a medieval Manor House, built about 1380-1400. with a Gatehouse, Chapel and Farmyard, and surrounding the Manor House, a Moat. Inside the House there are the Great Hall, the Parlour, the Bedroom and the Gallery. Brockhampton remains a working estate and comprises 680 hectares (1680 acres) of woodland, fields and open parkland. The owner of Brockhampton, colonel John Talbot Lutley died in 1946. As he had no heir to inherit, he left the entire Brockhampton estate to the National Trust.
  90. Ludlow Castle photo,
    Shropshire, built in 1086; Norman chapel; when Edward IV, son of the Duke of York, became king in 1461, Ludlow Castle became Crown property. It remained a Royal Castle except during the Civil War and Commonwealth. After 1689 the castle was quickly abandoned as part of the policy of the new government of William and Mary to centralise control of the whole of England and Wales in London. Earl of Powis bought the ruined castle in 1811. The castle is now a picturesque, romantic ruin and in recent years grants from English Heritage have enabled important repair work to be done. Since 1960 the inner bailey has been the setting for a Shakespeare play as the major item in the Ludlow Festival.

  91. Lullingstone Roman Villa photo,
    Kent, remains of a country villa excavated in recent years; mosaic floors; one of the earliest private Christian chapels.
  92. Lulworth Castle photo,
    Dorset, was built in 17th century as a hunting lodge and has been owned by the Weld family for over 300 years. The house was destroyed by fire in 1929 and the exterior has been restored by the English Heritage. Down in the basement there is a gallery of the Weld family, reconstructed kitchen, nursery, dairy and laundry rooms and a wine cellar. Upstairs rooms are still unfurnished after the fire. In the grounds there is the Chapel of St Mary, which is a fine piece of Georgian architecture, and Lulworth Castle House, presently the family home. The estate comprises 5,000 hectares or 20 square miles, including 5 miles of the most beautiful coastline in England which was granted World Heritage Site status in 2001.
  93. Lyme Park and Hall photo,
    Stockport, Cheshire, was the home of the Legh family for 600 years. The Hall was originally a Tudor house and was transformed into an Italianate palazzo. Grinling Gibbon's woodcarvings and the valuable collection of English clocks from the 1650s onwards. Known as the "Pemberley" of the recent BBC-TV's "Pride and Prejudice".
  94. Malmesbury House photo ,
    Wiltshire, "The Jewel of the Close Houses" of the Salisbury Cathedral, was originally a 13th century canonry, west facade added by Wren, rooms with magnificent rococo plasterwork, beautifully restored during the present ownership. Among previous visitors can be found names like King Charles II, George Frideric Handel and Dr. Samuel Johnson.
  95. Manderston photo,
    Borders, is said to be a product of the best craftsmanship and highest domestic sophistication the Edwardian era had to offer when it was built for Sir James Miller in 1903-05; when architect John Kinross enquired as to how much he could spend on building, he was told that "it simply doesn't matter" and the building went on with no expense spared; as an example there is a unique and recently restored silver staircase; also the magnificent stables and the marble dairy are something quite unrivaled in Britain; the father of James Miller, William Miller, made a fortune trading hemp and herrings with the Russians in 1860s and 1870s.
  96. Manorbier Castle photo,
    South Wales, was created over a number of years in 12th century by the De Barri family, who resided there for over 250 years, and the appearance of Manorbier has changed little since that time. This picturesque castle is located in the village of Manorbier close to the beach. During the 14th century, Manorbier Castle was sold to the Crown by the last member of the de Barri family. When the Crown disposed of the property in 1670, a local family purchased the castle, and it remained in the same ownership until the 20th century. The fortified manor house saw only two fairly minor assaults: the first, in 1327, when Richard de Barri stormed Manorbier to claim what was rightfully his, and, then, in 1645 during the English Civil War, when the castle was seized and slighted by Cromwell's Roundheads.
  97. Maxwelton House photo,
    Dumfries & Galloway, built in 1370; Annie Laurie of the ballad was born here in 1682.
  98. Melford Hall photo,
    Suffolk, a brick Tudor mansion in Long Melford, built in 1578; home of Lady Mary Clopton, fine pictures, furniture and Chinese porcelain; Beatrix Potter display.
  99. Mellerstain photo,
    Borders, an Adam Mansion, outstanding interior, classical library.
  100. Menstrie Castle photo,
    Menstrie, Clackmannanshire. Scotland, is a small three storey tower house dating to the late 16th century, the wing of which was extended in the early 17th century to form a long block. Here was born in 1572 Sir William Alexander, James VI’s Lieutenant for the Plantation of Nova Scotia. The castle later fell into disrepair and was threatened with demolition in the 1950s. It was finally saved and partly converted into flats. Today Menstrie Castle resembles a large manor house and comprises local housing as well as a commemoration room to the baronets of Nova Scotia. The Castle is administered by The National Trust for Scotland.
  101. Minterne House photo,
    Dorset, is a large historic Edwardian country house in the style of an Elizabethan Manor House. The House has been the home of the Churchill's and Digby's family for the last 350 years and now the seat of the 12th Lord Digby. It was rebuilt in 1905 by Leonard Stokes after the previous house was destroyed by dry rot. The first Sir Winston Churchill rented Minterne from Winchester College in 1660, and left it to his younger son General Charles Churchill, much to the fury of his eldest son, the Great Duke of Marlborough, who ‘just had to make do with Blenheim Palace.’ The house contains many interesting paintings mementos of its past residents, including the Churchill Tapestries which are in the dining room. The garden was landscaped in the manner of Capability Brown in the 18th Century.
  102. Muncaster Castle photo,
    Cumbria, owned by the Pennington family since 1208; outstanding Great Hall; rhododendron garden, Owl Centre. The castle is presently on Britain's "Most Haunted" list.
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    Updated April 16, 2015

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