What is the best architecture style for a castle? In my opinion Gothic and Gothic Revival castles are the most impressive buildings you will find. Luckily there are many Gothic and Gothic Revival castles in England. And most of these castles you can visit.
What is Gothic architecture?
Gothic is an architecture style that was popular from the 12th to the 16th century in Europe. The origins of Gothic architecture start in northern France. It’s here that the Norman architecture developed into Gothic architecture.
You can mainly recognize a Gothic building by the pointed arches. Which also led to the development of the rib vault in combination with stained glass windows.
What is Gothic Revival architecture?
In the 18th and 19th century the Gtohic architecture style became popular again in England and later in the rest of Europe. Gothic Revival is also known as Victorian Gothic, Neo-Gothic, or Georgian Gothic.
In the 18th century Romanticism grew and with it and interest into Medieval art and architecture. Gothic Revival architecture include decorative patterns, lancet windows, and finials. G
Gothic Revival is one of the most popular and long-lived revival styles in architecture.
Gothic Castles & Manor Houses in England
Beaulieu Palace House
This 13th-century country house used to be the gatehouse to Beaulieu Abbey. Since 1538 it has been the family home of the Montagu family.
Beaulieu Palace House was remodelled and extended in the 19th century. And it’s now a blend of Gothic and Victorian (Gothic) design features.
King James visited Beaulieu Palace House in 1613. And it’s also reportately one of the most haunted places in Britain.
Can I visit Beaulieu Palace House?
Yes! The house is open daily (excluding Christmas). The estate includes the ruined Beaulieu Abbey, the gardens, a play area, a restaurant, and the National Motor Museum.
Address: John Montagu Building, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst SO42 7ZN, United Kingdom
Rousham House is a country house built in 1635. In the 18th century architect and landscape architect William Kent remodelled the house in Gothic style.
Rousham has one of the first English landscape gardens (designed by William Kent). And the garden is almost completely preserved the way William Kent designed it in the 18th century.
The gardens include a pleasure ground, three 17th century Walled Gardens, and several paths running through the grounds. The gardens at Rousham are one of the favourites of English horticulturist Monty Don.
Rousham House as film location
The house and grounds have been used as a film location for ITV’s Lewis and The Pursuit of Love.
Can I visit Rousham House?
The gardens are Rousham are open daily. The house only open by appointment.
Address: Rousham House, Rousham, Bicester OX25 4QU, United Kingdom
Durham Castle is a Norman Castle and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 11th century castle was the residence of the Bishops of Durham. Today it is one of the locations of the University of Durham.
Durham Cathedral shows the turning point in architecture styles. For the first time pointed arched were used as a structural element.
Durham Cathedral is often used as a film location. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone & The Chamberof Secrets were filmed here. As well as the Avengers and Elizabeth (1998).
Can I visit Durham Castle or Durham Cathedral?
The castle is part of the Universiye of Durham. The Cathedral can be visited.
Address: Durham DH1 3EH, United Kingdom
See also: 22 Tudor Manor Houses in England You Should Visit
Gothic Revival Castles & Manor Houses in England
Strawberry Hill House
Strawberry Hill House was Horace Walpole’s summer residence. He designed his version of “a little Gothic castle” with pinnacles, battlements and a round tower. At the “castle” (technically it’s not a castle) he entertained prominent guests like Royalty, English aristocracy and foreign ambassadors.
Even in Walpole’s time the castle was a tourist destination. Four visitors (no children!) were allowed in the house a day. They got a tour from his housekeeper.
In 1842 the house was stripped from almost all his content, because George Waldegrave spent all of the family’s fortune. In 1856 George’s wife Lady Frances Waldegrave saved Strawberry Hill. She expanded and embellished the castle, being faithful to Horace’s vision.
Can I visit Strawberry Hil House?
Yes! The House and Shop are open Sunday-Thursday (11am-4pm). The Garden and Café are open Sunday-Thursday (10am-4pm)
Wray Castle is a Victorian neo-Gothic castle in Cumbria. The castle sits on the shore of Lake Windermere which is a great area for walking and biking.
In 1882, English writer, Beatrix Potter stayed at Wray Castle. And in 1905 she bought the 17th century farm Hill Top which lies close to the castle. Over the years she also bought land surrounding the castle.
Can I visit Wray Castle?
Yes! Wray Castle in now owned by the National Trust. The castle is open Spring-Autumn, but the grounds are open all year long.
Address: Low Wray, Ambleside LA22 0JA, United Kingdom
Eastnor Castle is a 19th century mock castle in Gothic Revival style. Eastnor is designed by Robert Smirke for the 1st Earl Somers. Up until today the castle is still privately owned by the grandson of the 6th Earl Somers.
The castle has been used as a film location for among others: The Canterville Ghost, Doctor Thorne and HBO’s Succession.
Can I visit Eastnor Castle?
Yes! The castle is open for visitors Spring-Autumn (also fun for children). Eastnor Castle can also be hired as a wedding venue.
Address: Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 1RL
Belvoir is a stately home and castle in Leicestershire. The first castle was built after the Norman conquest but the current (and fourth) castle was built in the 19th century in Gothic Revival style.
The castle is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland. The castle gardens are designed by Elizabeth Howard (the 5th Duchess of Rutland) in 1799. The gardens include a natural amphitheatre and it was the first garden with mass spring flower beds.
Can I visit Belvoir Castle?
Yes! The Castle and grounds are open for visitors. There are also frequest events in the castle.
Address: Grantham NG32 1PE, United Kingdom
Tyntesfield is a Victorian Gothic stately home near Bristol in North Somerset. In the mid 19th century the house was remodelled into an ornate Victorian Gothic style.
The house has soaring pinnacles, crenelated towers, oriel windows and arches made from local Bath stone. The interiors are designed by J.G. Crace and include neo-Gothic stained glass, mosaics by Salviati, and stenciled wall panels and ornate ironwork.
Tyntesfield is alo used as a film location. Series as Doctor Who, Sherlock and Doctor Thorne have all filmed on the estate.
Can I visit Tyntesfield?
Yes! Tyntesfield is now owned by the National Trust and open for visitors. The estate also include gardens, a cafe, a shop and a bookshop.
Address: Wraxall, Bristol, North Somerset, BS48 1NX
Arundel Castle is a medieval castle – owned by the Duke of Norfolk – which has been rebuilt in the 19th century in Gothic style. It’s one of the finest Victorian Gothic buildings in England.
In 1846 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Arundel Castle. To make the Queen’s stay as comfortable as possible. The Duke of Norfolk built a new apartment block for the Queen and the Prince. Decorating it with Victorian furniture and art, including a portrait of the Queen. The rooms are now part of the private apartments but the furniture is displayed for visitors.
Arundel Castle has been used as a film location for: The Young Victoria, The MAdness of King George, and Wonder Woman.
Can I visit Arundel Castle?
Yes! The castle and grounds are open to visitors from Spring-Autumn.
Address: Arundel Castle, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9AB
Carlton Towers is a Victorian Gothic country house in North Yorkshire. The house is owned by Edward Fitzalan-Howard, the 18th Duke of Norfolk, and 13th Baron Beaumont. But it’s his younger brother who lives at Carlton Towers.
The house was re-built in 1873 by the 9th Baron Beaumont. The older manor house that stood in its place is incorporated in the present neo-Gothc building.
Can I visit Carlton Towers?
The house can be hired for weddings and there are frequent events held at the country house.
Address: High St, Carlton, Goole DN14 9LZ, United Kingdom
Allerton Castle is a Victorian Gothic Revival castle in North Yorkshire.
On the estate stands a Temple of Victory built by Prince Frederick, Duke of York in the 18th cenury. The Prince lived on the estate in the 18th century (in that time a Georgian house stood on the place of Allerton Castle).
Can I visit Allerton Castle?
The castle is open for visitors through Guided Tours from Spring-Autumn. Allerton Castle can also be hired as a wedding or event venue.
Address: Allerton Mauleverer, North Yorkshire, HG5 0SE
Cliffe Castle (or Cliffe Hall) is a Victorian Gothic is an early 19th century manor house in West Yorkshire. It was the home of Victorian millionaire and textile manufacturer, Henry Isaac Butterfield.
The house was a showpiece of French decoration and international art. The Butterfield’s were also connected to the Roosevelt’s of America and members of the court of Napoleon III.
In recent year the castle has been renovated and it’s now a museum. It showcases Victorian rooms and furniture, paintings, and decorative art. As well as rooms dedicated to natural history, archaeology and social history.
Can I visit Cliffe Castle?
Yes, the museum is open to visitors Wednesday-Sunday.
Address: Cliffe Castle Museum, Spring Gardens Lane, Keighley, BD20 6LH
Oakley Court is a Victorian Gothic revival country house overlooking the River Thames. The country house was built in 1859 and is currently a luxury country house hotel.
In the mid 20th century Oakley Court was the home of British film production company Hammer Films. And therfor it can be seen in many films from the mid 20th century. Such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Murder by Death. In more recent years Oakley Court was used in Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” videoclip and the BBC serie Dracula.
Can I visit Oakley Court?
Oakley Court is now a country house hotel, so not only can you visit you can even stay at Oakley Court.
Address: Windsor Rd, Water Oakley, Windsor SL4 5UR, United Kingdom
Prideaux Place is an Elizabethan country house in Cornwall with neo-Gothic elements. The house was built in the late 16th century and has been the home of the Prideux family for 400 years.
Prideaux Place has a strond connection with “Poldark”. Not only have the grounds been used as a film location. But the writer of the Poldark Books; Winston Graham has visited Prideaux Place many times. It is here that he partly wrote the last Poldark novel “Bella Poldark”. Prideux Place is aslo mentioned in the Poldark books.
Can I visit Prideux Place?
Yes! They offer Guided Tours of the house. The estate also houses a café.
Address: Prideaux Place, Padstow PL28 8RP, United Kingdom
Woodchester Mansion is an unfinished Gothic Revival mansion house in Gloucestershire. The contruction started 1858 but was abandoned mid-construction in 1870. From the outside looks finished but floors, plaster and rooms are missing inside.
Due to its inhabited state Woodchester Mansion now houses a large bat colony.
The house is also used as a film location for The Crown and His Dark Materials.
Can I visit Woodchester Mansion?
The mansion is open for visitors Spring-Autumn on selected days.
Address: Woodchester Mansion, Nympsfield, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire.
Leighton Hall is a Georgian country house in Lancashire. In the 19th century a Gothic Revival facade was added to the house. The Hall is the ancestral home of the Gillow family (known of the Gillow furniture). The family still live in the house.
The grounds include a 19th century Walled Garden and a children’s playground.
Can I visit Leighton Hall?
Yes! The house and grounds are open to visitors May-September.
Address: Leighton Hall, Carnforth, Lancashire, LA5 9ST
Clearwell Castle is the first Gothic Revival castle built in England. The castle, located in the Forest of Dean, was constructed in 1727 for Thomas Wyndham.
In 1930 the castle was severly damagd by fire. But in 1952 the castle was bought by the son of a former gardener who restored the castle.
In the 1970s Clearwell Castle was used as a recording studio for bands like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Deep Purple, and Black Sabbath. The castle is now used as a weding venue.
Can I visit Clearwell Castle?
Clearwell Castle is used as an exclusive wedding venue.
Address: Church Rd, Clearwell, Coleford GL16 8LG, United Kingdom
The castle started as an Elizabethan-style house. But in the early 19th century architect James Wyatt extended and remodeled it into a Gothic Revival castle. Wyatt designed a new wing, Grand Hall, and most of the interiors.
The gardens are designed by William Barron and are described as a “Gothic delight”. After the Second World War the castle fell into decay, which continues to this day. But a masterplan has been set up to restore the castle to its former glory,
Can I visit Elvaston Castle?
The castle grounds are open to visitors. The Gothic Hall is available for events.
Address: Borrowash Road, Elvaston DE72 3EP England
Tregothnan is the family seat of the Boscawen family (the Viscounts Falmouth). Though the estate has been in the family since the 1330s. The current house was built in 1650. Though major extensions and remodels in Tudor Gothic style were added in the 19th century.
The estate has a large botanical garden. And in the late 20th century a tea plantation was started on the grounds. This has grown into Europe’s largest tea garden.
Can I visit Tregothnan?
Tregothnan offers tea and orchard tours. As well as several masterclasses about tea.
Address: The Woodyard, Tresillian, Truro TR2 4AJ
The 17th century country estate is home of the Sandys family. In the 19th century the facade of the house was remodeled into Gothic Revival style.
Surrounding the house are 7 acres of gardens designed by Thomas Hayton Mawson. And they include a Dutch garden, a rose garden, and yew hedges.
The woods surrounding the house were frequently visited by William Wordsworth. And they also feature in Beatrix Potter’s “The Fairy Caravan”.
Can I visit Graythwaite Hall?
The Hall is not open to the public. But the garden and woods are open to visitors.
Address: Newby Bridge, Cumbria, England, LA12 8BA
The country house was built in 1803 in Tudor Gothic style by architect John Nash. The land on which the house stands has been owned by the Burton family since Medieval times. And even today Longner Hall is still privately owned by the Burton family.
Can I visit Longner Hall?
Longner Hall is open for visitors on selected days in the Spring and Summer months. Visit the website for the latest information.
Address: Longner Hall, Uffington, Shrewsbury, SY4 4TG
Frampton Court is a Georgian country house in Gloucestershire, which has been owned by the Clifford family since the 11th century. While the main house isn’t Gothic, there is a Gothic garden house/orangery on the estate.
The garden house was built in the mid 18th century and has three octagonal towers joined by a single bay. At the front of the garden house is an ornamental canal.
Can I visit Frampton Court?
The house can be hired as an event or wedding venue. You can also hire the entire home as a vacation rental.
Address: Frampton Court, The Green, Frampton on Severn, Gloucester GL2 7EX, United Kingdom