It’s almost six months since the first part in the series on Britain’s Beautiful Castles and seeing as it seems to have been a popular topic I thought I would take you on another trip to see a few more.
Lindisfarne – Northumberland
I’ll start in northeast England on Holy Island and Lindisfarne. Sited atop the volcanic mound known as Beblowe Crag, Lindisfarne is one of the most distinct and picturesque features of Holy Island and can be seen from many miles around. Built in the 1550s using stones from the demolished Priory and in 1901 it was purchased and created into the Edwardian country house you see today.
Kisimul – Barra – Outer Hebrides
Cross the border into Scotland and over to the wonderful Western Isles or the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Barra in particular. Kisimul (or Caisteal Chiosmuil) Castle sits on a rocky islet in the bay just off the coast of in Castlebay. Legend has it that this has been the stronghold of the MacNeils since the 11th century. It gets its name from the Gaelic words cios, (tax or tribute) and mul (mound), meaning “The place where taxes are paid.”
Pennard – Gower
Back over to the mainland now travelling right down the coast to South Wales and Pennard. Pennard Castle‘s situation is dramatic and beautiful. It is perched on the edge of the valley of the Pennard Pill, with a sheer drop below to the north and west. From it, there is a sweeping view out towards Three Cliffs Bay, and across the valley to Penmaen Burrows.
Hurst – New Forest
Finally, I move back into England and visit the south coast with a rather mysterious image. Hurst Castle, viewed here over Keyhaven Mudflats, is one of Henry VIII’s Device Forts, built at the end of a long shingle spit at the west end of the Solent to guard the approaches to Southampton. It was sited at the narrow entrance to the Solent where the ebb and flow of the tides create strong currents, putting would-be invaders at its mercy. Also known as a Henrician Castle, Hurst was built as part of Henry’s chain of coastal defences to protect England during the turbulent times of his reign.
So that completes this second journey which I hope you have enjoyed. I still have more to share in this series and hopefully, next time will not be as long a wait as it was for this second selection.