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  • Dunrobin Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#1) Dunrobin Castle

    Dunrobin Castle, located in Sutherland, Scotland, dates back to the 1300s, and is "one of the oldest continuously inhabited houses" in the United Kingdom.

    The land the castle is built on was first acquired by Hugh, Lord of Duffus, in the 13th century. It is the largest house in the Northern Highlands (boasting 189 rooms), and is home to the Dukes of Sutherland.

  • Arundel Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#2) Arundel Castle

    • House

    Construction on Arundel Castle began in 1068, at the order of William the Conqueror. Today, it is more than 950 years old, and "one of the largest inhabited and complete castles in England." The castle, open to the public, is the principal seat of the Dukes of Norfolk.

  • Château d'Ussé, France on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#3) Château d'Ussé, France

    First constructed as a fortified stronghold in the 11th century, the Château d'Ussé is located in France above the Indre Valley, and may have inspired the tale of Sleeping Beauty.

    According to the castle's website, the chateau is still used as a private residence for the Duke of Blacas and his family.

  • Alnwick Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#4) Alnwick Castle

    Located in the English county of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is the second-largest inhabited castle in England. It is owned by the 12th Duke of Northumberland, the current head of the House of Percy. His family has lived in the castle for more than 700 years.

    The first parts of Alnwick castle were built in the late 9th century. In modern times, it's been used as filming locations for both the Harry Potter films and Downton Abbey.

  • Eltz Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#5) Eltz Castle

    • Romanesque architecture

    Located in what is today Wierschem, Germany, Eltz Castle has belonged to the Eltz family for more than 860 years. The land was first deeded to Rudolf von Eltz in 1157 by the Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa.

    Now a popular tourist destination, the castle remains a private residence for three branches of the Eltz family: the Rodendorfs, the Rubenachs, and the Kempeniches. 

  • Inveraray Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#6) Inveraray Castle

    Because work began on Inveraray Castle in the 18th century, it is technically not a medieval castle. However, it is built on the grounds of an earlier, 15th century castle that also belonged to Clan Campbell, and has been the seat of the Dukes of Argyll since the medieval era. 

    Located 60 miles northwest of Glasgow, Scotland, Inveraray remains inhabited to this day, and is also open to the public.

  • Windsor Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#7) Windsor Castle

    • Gothic architecture

    Located in the English county of Berkshire, the site of Windsor Castle has been a royal residence for the English monarchy since the 9th century AD. The castle itself grew out of a stockade that was first established around 1070, and royals have been adding onto it ever since.

    According to the Royal Collection Trust, Queen Elizabeth II resides at Windsor during "private weekends" and throughout the Easter months.

  • Berkeley Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#8) Berkeley Castle

    Completed in the 12th century, Berkeley Castle has been the home of the Berkeley family ever since.

    According to the castle's official website, the Berkeleys "are the only English family still in existence in England that can trace its ancestors from father to son back to Saxon times."

  • Belvoir Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#9) Belvoir Castle

    The Rutland family has lived on the grounds of Leicestershire's Belvoir Castle for nearly 1,000 years. The land was first gifted to the family's ancestor, Robert de Todeni, by William the Conqueror in the 11th century. 

    Following the Wars of the Roses, the first version of the castle was reduced to ruins by 1464. The second was destroyed in 1649, during the English Civil War. The third castle was completed in 1668, and the fourth and current castle was completed in 1832. 

  • Haddon Hall, England on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#10) Haddon Hall, England

    A medieval manor house located in England's Wye River valley, Haddon Hall is the private residence of Lord and Lady Edward Manners.

    Though not technically a castle, Haddon Hall was granted the right to build a protective wall on its grounds in the year 1194. According to the Historic Houses website, it does hold the honor of being "one of the oldest houses" in England. 

  • Chateau Le Plessis-Bourré, France on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#11) Chateau Le Plessis-Bourré, France

    Built between 1468 and 1473, the Château du Plessis-Bourré is located in Écuillé, France, and was originally constructed as a fortress

    This historic monument remains largely unchanged since its initial construction, and is still privately owned today. Since 1956, it has been owned and occupied by the descendants of one of Napoleon Bonaparte's generals. 

  • Killyleagh Castle, Ireland on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#12) Killyleagh Castle, Ireland

    Located in North Ireland on the shore of Strangford Lough, Killyleagh Castle is built on the site of a much older fortification that dates back to the 12th century. Today, it is considered the "oldest inhabited castle in Ireland." The stone portions of the castle were built in the 1600s. 

    Killyleagh is jointly owned by two families, the Hamiltons and the Blackwoods, with the main building still used by the Hamiltons today.

  • Bamburgh Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#13) Bamburgh Castle

    • Castle

    Located on the northeast coast of England near the village of Bamburgh, Bamburgh Castle was built on the site of a much earlier Celtic fort dating to 547 AD. According to Historic UK, the Norman keep was established in 1095 and became a temporary home "and sometimes prison" to the Scottish aristocracy. 

    Passing partly into ruin by the 1600s, the castle became a hospital and school before being purchased by philanthropist William George Armstrong in 1894. The Armstrongs still own it today, and it is even available to rent!

  • Dover Castle on Random Old Medieval Castles That Are Still In Use

    (#14) Dover Castle

    The site where Dover Castle now stands has been of strategic importance to multiple cultures for more than 2,000 years. Early inhabitants established hillforts on Castle Hill around 500 BC, and the Romans built a fort and lighthouse there somewhere around 130 AD. That lighthouse (pictured) still stands on the property, and now abuts a Saxon church, St Mary de Castro, which itself dates to 1000 AD. 

    English royals stopped using Dover Castle as a residence in 1625, but it remained of strategic importance to the military during the Napoleonic Wars, and then through World War I and II. The army continued to inhabit the castle till 1958, after which it became a residence for senior officers until 2015. 

    Today, the head of Dover Castle is officially the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, who also holds the position of Constable of Dover Castle. His residence is in Constable's Gate.

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About This Tool

The castle is known as the symbol of nobility in the Middle Ages and has many ancient stories. We can visit various ancient castles of different eras all over the world today. The accumulation of food, wealth, and resources led to the increased demands for defensive structures from the nobility and royal family. A large number of strong and magnificent stone castles were built in the Middle Ages to resist aggression.

By the end of the 16th century, Europe had 70,000 to 100,000 castles, some of which were still in normal use, and some had been damaged. At the beginning of the 20th century, castles became popular again, with people admiring medieval knights, Gothic architecture, and the Renaissance. The random tool lists 14 old Medieval castles that are still in use.

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