Dairsie Castle, Dairsie, north-east Fife, Scotland.
Dairsie Castle is a a restored tower house overlooking the River Eden. A Scottish parliament was held at the castle in early 1335.
The first castle built here was the property of the bishops of St Andrews, and was probably constructed by William de Lamberton, Bishop of St Andrews from 1298 to 1328.
Niedpath Castle, Scotland
Sir William de Haya probably built the present castle in the late 14th century. In 1645, Neidpath was garrisoned against the Royalist forces of James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, although the following year, John Hay of Yester joined the King’s party, and was created 1st Earl of Tweeddale by King Charles II. During Oliver Cromwell’s invasion of Scotland in 1650, Neidpath was attacked. Mike Salter states that the castle was surrendered without a fight, although other sources suggest that it required the longest assault on any stronghold south of the River Forth to force it to surrender. James Taylor, writing in 1887, states that the 13th-century tower was demolished by artillery during the siege. During the 1660s, the 2nd Earl of Tweeddale remodeled the castle, and constructed outbuidings. The 2nd Earl was an agricultural “improver”, who planted an avenue of yews, of which one side remains. However, he was declared bankrupt, and sold Neidpath to William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry in 1686.
In 1693, Queensberry gave the castle to his second son William Douglas, later the 1st Earl of March. His son William, the 2nd Earl, made alterations to the castle in the 18th century. The 3rd Earl inherited the title and estates of the Duke of Queensberry in 1778, and subsequently let Neidpath to tenants. These included the philosopher and historian Adam Ferguson. The castle suffered neglect, however, and by 1790 the upper stories of the wing had collapsed. William Wordsworth and Sir Walter Scott both visited the castle in 1803. On the death of the Duke in 1810, the castle, along with the earldom of March, was inherited by the Earl of Wemyss, although the dukedom went to the Scotts of Buccleuch. Neidpath still belongs to Earl of Wemyss; the Earl’s heir takes his courtesy title, Lord Neidpath, from it.
The castle was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots in 1563, and by her son James VI in 1587.
Niedpath Castle overlooks the River Tweed about 1 mile west of Peebles in the Borders of Scotland.
Château des Plantais, Auvergne, France
Château de la Goujeonnerie, Vendee, France.
Built in 1872, Goujeonnerie is the creation of the architect Arsène Charier, who having rescued Azay-le-Rideau from dereliction decided to build a château of his own.
Château de Vitré
Vitré, Ille-et-Vilaine, France.
The first stone castle was built by the baron Robert I of Vitré at the end of the 11th century. The defensive site chosen, a rocky promontory, dominates the valley of the Vilaine. A Romanesque style doorway still survives from this building. During the first half of the 13th century, baron André III, rebuilt it in its present triangular form, following the contours of the rocks, surrounded with dry moats.
The castle was bought by the town in the 1820 for 8500 francs. In 1872, it was one of the first castles in France to be classified as a monument historique (historic monument) and restored from 1875.
Leeds Castle, Kent, England.
Leeds Castle is in Kent, England, 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Maidstone. A castle has been on the site since 1119. In the 13th century it came into the hands of King Edward I, for whom it became a favourite residence; in the 16th century, Henry VIII used it as a residence for his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
The castle was a location for the 1949 film Kind Hearts and Coronets where it stood in for “Chalfont”, the ancestral home of the aristocratic d’Ascoyne family. The castle also appeared in The Moonraker (1958) and Waltz of the Toreadors (1962). It was the set for the Doctor Who episode The Androids of Tara.
The castle today dates mostly from the 19th century and is built on islands in a lake formed by the River Len to the east of the village of Leeds. It has been open to the public since 1976.
Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.
Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the world’s largest private residences. Named after Maharaja Umaid Singh, grandfather of the present owners of the palace, this monument has 347 rooms and serves as the principal residence of the Jodhpur royal family.
The present owner of the Palace is Maharaja of Jodhpur Gaj Singh. The Palace is divided into three functional parts - the residence of the royal family, the Taj Palace Hotel and a Museum focusing on the 20th century history of the Royal Family.
Dover, Kent, England.
Dover Castle was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the “Key to England” due to its defensive significance. It is the largest castle in England.
During the reign of Henry II the castle began to take recognisable shape. The inner and outer baileys and the great keep belong to this time. Maurice the Engineer was responsible for building the keep, one of the last rectangular keeps ever built.
Dover Castle is a Scheduled Monument and a Grade I listed building. The castle, its secret tunnels, and surrounding land are owned by English Heritage and the site is a major tourist attraction.
Dover has always been a chief member of the Cinque Ports since their foundation in 1050. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is officially head of the castle, in his conjoint position of Constable of Dover Castle. The Deputy Constable has his residence in Constable’s Gate.
The Castle of Bardi (or Landi)
Upper Ceno Valley, Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Château de Blandy-les-Tours
Blandy-les-Tours, Seine-et-Marne, France
(photo shows just one tour)
The Château de Blandy-les-Tours was mentioned in a text in 1216. It belonged to Adam II de Chailly, Viscount of Melun. It consisted of a simple manor and chapel, the only construction made of stone. The site was previously a Merovingian necropolis.
In the 14th century, the castle was modified with new fortifications and structures of defence. A moat was dug and a new gate-tower with a drawbridge was included in the enclosing wall.
Château Solvay, also called the Château de La Hulpe
La Hulpe, Walloon Brabant, Belgium.
The château was built by the Marquis de Béthune in the French style in 1842. In the late 19th century, the house and estate were acquired by Ernest Solvay, and have since been known as the Domaine Solvay.
Today the property is owned by the regional government of Wallonia, and is classified as an “Exceptional Heritage Site in Wallonia.” The grounds are open to the public.