Oooh, this week’s Word a Week Challenge is Castle! Castles are one of my favourite things to visit, whether still intact or whether there are just ruins left to ramble through. Many castles started off as pure fortifications but turned into more of a palace, a residence as the need for defence died down. Since palaces are not the traditional “castle”, for this post, I’ll just show photos of the more “industrial” versions with one or two exceptions.
Most of my castle experiences have been in the U.K. where castles are littered all over the countries that make up the United Kingdom. Welsh castles built by Edward I are huge and looming and forbidding. Often these and other castles were attached to walls that would surround a town/city to keep it safe from invasion. These castles were built to intimidate and you can see that they certainly would be.
There are still a few examples of even older castles. This one, Restormel in Cornwall, dates to the Norman period though became disused and fell into ruins after the English Civil War in the 17th century.
Edinburgh Castle is perched on top of volcanic cliffs. The old city ran from it’s gates down to the Royal palace of Holyrood. The newer part of the city lies across a loch which was drained and is now the park you see in this photo.
Irish Castles seem to mainly be boxy looking, one large squared tower. Blarney Castle is fairly typical.
Leeds Castle was defensive but remained a residential home through the centuries, into the 20th century. It’s surrounded by a moat which was a fairly common means of defense for castles.
Outside of the U.K., there are also many castles. The Rhine is a popular river for castle spotting from a riverboat. This castle, in the middle of the city of Rome, was the Pope’s stronghold for both security for himself and as a prison.
The Tower of London is arguably one of the most famous castles in the world. It started as a Normal fortification built by William the Conqueror after the 1066 invasion. It’s grown quite a lot since the erection of the square middle “White” Tower. It’s been a royal palace, a zoo and a prison.
This one, in Copenhagen, was more of a palace though is still called a castle.