Dating back to the early 12th century, the Alcázar of Segovia is one of the most distinctive castles in Europe.
Hallaton Castle in Leicestershire, England, showing a well preserved post-invasion earth motte (l) and bailey (r)
Built in 1385, Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, England, is surrounded by a water-filled moat.
Folkestone Castle in England, a Norman ringwork castle
The Norman White Tower, the keep of the Tower of London, exemplifies all uses of a castle including city defence, a residence, and a place of refuge in times of crisis.
Dinas Powys Castle in South Wales has been abandoned for around 600 years
Windsor Castle in England was founded as a fortification during the Norman Conquest and today is one of the principal official residences of Queen Elizabeth II.
The stone keep of Chepstow Castle in Wales, built in a Romanesque style
Baba Vida medieval castle build on the banks of the Danube in Vidin, Bulgaria
The Norman square keep of Goodrich Castle in England, with the original first-floor doorway still visible above its later replacement
São Jorge Castle in Lisbon, Portugal, with a bridge over a moat
The shell keep of Restormel Castle in England
The wooden palisades on top of mottes were often later replaced with stone, as in this example at Château de Gisors in France.
Pickering Castle in England (right), and the counter-castle from the years of the Anarchy (upper left)
A courtyard of the 14th-century Raseborg Castle in Finland
The Bass of Inverurie in Scotland, a large motte and bailey castle built in the mid-12th century
The 14th-century keep of Château de Vincennes near Paris towers above the castle's curtain wall. The wall exhibits features common to castle architecture: a gatehouse, corner towers, and machicolations.
Trim Castle in Ireland, built immediately after the Norman invasion
Beaumaris Castle in Anglesey, North Wales, with curtain walls between the lower outer towers, and higher inner curtain walls between the higher inner towers.
Dover Castle in England, built to a concentric design
A 13th-century gatehouse in the château de Châteaubriant, France. It connects the upper ward to the lower one.
A reconstruction of a trebuchet
Caerlaverock Castle in Scotland is surrounded by a moat.
A contemporary sketch of Lincoln Castle in England at the start of the 13th century, defended by a crossbowman
Daorson, Bosnia, built around a prehistoric central fortified settlement or acropolis (existed there cca. 17/16th c. to the end of the Bronze Age, cca. 9/8th c. BCE), surrounded by cyclopean walls (similar to Mycenae) dated to the 4th c. BCE.
A reconstruction of Edward I's chambers at the Tower of London in England
Borġ in-Nadur fort in Malta, built during the Tarxien phase and used until the Bronze Age.
Llywelyn the Great's Castell y Bere in Wales
The Bayeux Tapestry contains one of the earliest representations of a castle. It depicts attackers of the Château de Dinan in France using fire, a major threat to wooden castles.
Edward I's Caernarfon Castle in Wales
Built in 1138, Castle Rising in Norfolk, England is an example of an elaborate donjon.
Bodiam in England, a castle designed as a luxurious private home
Albarrana tower in Paderne Castle, Portugal
The late 14th-century tower keep of Warkworth Castle in England
The gatehouse to the inner ward of Beeston Castle in Cheshire, England, was built in the 1220s, and has an entrance between two D-shaped towers.
Carisbrooke Castle in England, shortly before the addition of cannons to its defences in the 14th century
Krak des Chevaliers in Syria is a concentric castle built with both rectangular and rounded towers. It is one of the best-preserved Crusader castles.
A reconstruction of the English city of York in the 15th century, showing York Castle (r) and the Old Baile (l)
The design of Edward I's Harlech Castle (built in the 1280s) in North Wales was influenced by his experience of the Crusades.
Linlithgow in Scotland, rebuilt as a royal palace in the 15th century
The northern walls of the Gran Castello in Gozo, Malta, were built in the 15th century.
A reconstruction of the palatial Kenilworth Castle in England around 1575
Corvin Castle in Transylvania (built between 1446 and 1480) was one of the biggest in Eastern Europe at that time.
Clonony Castle in Ireland, a 16th-century tower house
Castle De Haar, Utrecht, Netherlands.
Ravenscraig Castle in Scotland, showing its curved, low-profile fortifications designed to resist cannon fire
The angled bastion, as used in Copertino Castle in Italy, was developed around 1500. First used in Italy, it allowed the evolution of artillery forts that eventually took over the military role of castles.
St Mawes Castle in England, one of Henry VIII's Device Forts
Neuschwanstein is a 19th-century historicist (neoromanesque) castle built by Ludwig II of Bavaria, inspired by the romanticism of the time.
Bolsover Castle in England, following its redesign at the beginning of the 17th century
Castello Dei Baroni, a country residence in Wardija, Malta, designed with castle-like features.
"Roaring Meg", a surviving example of a civil-war mortar
A 19th-century depiction by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc of the construction of the large tower at Coucy Castle in France, with scaffolding and masons at work. The putlog holes mark the position of the scaffolding in earlier stages of construction. The tower was blown up in 1917.
The ruined walls of Corfe Castle in England, slighted after the English Civil War
Experimental archeology castle building at Guédelon Castle site in France (2015).
Carlisle Castle in England, modernised in the 18th century to defend against Jacobite invasion
God Speed! by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1900: a late Victorian view of a lady giving a favour to a knight about to do battle.
Wardour Castle in England, preserved in the 18th century as a fashionable ruin
Highland castles such as Château de Montségur in southern France have become the popular idea of where castles should be found because they are photogenic, where in reality castles were built in a variety of places due to a range of considerations.
Carrickfergus Castle in Ireland, retrofitted with gun ports for coastal defence in the early 19th century
Srebrenik Fortress in Srebrenik, Bosnia: inaccessibility of location with only a narrow bridge traversing deep canyon provides excellent protection.
Edinburgh Castle in Scotland in the middle of the 19th century, already a popular tourist location by the Victorian period
Almourol Castle in Portugal, which stands on a small islet in the Tejo River.
Penrhyn Castle in Wales, an early 19th-century recreation of a Norman castle
Tavastia Castle in Hämeenlinna, Finland, one of the northernmost castles in Europe. The exact date of construction of the castle is unclear, as far as it is known to have been built in the late 13th century, but the first mention of it in contemporary documents is from 1308. It was built close to Lake Vanajavesi.
Beaumaris Castle in Wales, showing its restored appearance following work in the 1920s
An early 13th-century drawing by Matthew Paris showing contemporary warfare, including the use of castles (here Lincoln Castle), crossbowmen and mounted knights.
Durham Castle in England, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1980s
A reconstructed trebuchet at Château des Baux in Bouches-du-Rhône in the south of France.
Wigmore Castle in England, preserved in an unconserved state following its acquisition by English Heritage in 1995
Archaeological investigations in 2009 attempt to identify the exact location of Ampthill Castle

Although a small number of castles had been built in England in the 1050s, the Normans began to build motte and bailey and ringwork castles in large numbers to control their newly occupied territories in England and the Welsh Marches.

- Castles in Great Britain and Ireland

Castles were introduced into England shortly before the Norman Conquest in 1066.

- Castle
Dating back to the early 12th century, the Alcázar of Segovia is one of the most distinctive castles in Europe.

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