England is famous around the world for its castles, and hundreds are still standing that are worth a visit. From Dover Castle, in Kent, to Tintagel Castle, in Cornwall, here are some of the country’s oldest, most beautiful and most important castles.
London’s famous castle was founded towards the end of the Norman conquest in 1066. It went on to become one of the most important castles in English history, synonymous with its monarchy, as controlling the castle has always been deemed necessary to control the country. However, despite its role as a grand palace and official royal residence, over time the castle has come to be primarily associated with its function as a prison — hence the phrase “sent to the Tower”. Prisoners were held here from 1100 until 1952, when the Kray twins, notorious gangsters, were incarcerated within its walls, while the last execution to be held here was of a German spy in 1941. The castle has many parts that have been modified, rebuilt and expanded by a succession of rulers. Today, the Crown Jewels are housed here and on show to the public, along with the tower, which has become one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.
Additional reporting by Callum Davies