Victorian Era Castles: Windsor Castle, Cardiff Castle, Lewis Castle

The concept of castle originated in the 9th and 10th century. Castles during the Victorian period are very few in number. The fact was that many of the big houses built during that time were regarded as castles. Some others were named castle as they resembled a castle. The 19th century castles were the physical manifestation of the Victorian fascination with the comforts of the modern time.

Windsor Castle

It is a medieval castle. The castle is known for its connection with the British royal family and also for its architecture. The original castle was built after the invasion of William the Conqueror. It has been used as the principal place of residence since the reign of Henry I.

The Windsor castle is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle includes the 15th century St. Georges Chapel. The castle was built as a motte and bailey that had three wards protecting a central mound from all sides. The castle withstood the long-lasting siege during the First Barons War which was fought in the beginning of the 13th century.

Henry III built a royal palace within the castle which was rebuilt by Edward III. During the English Civil War, the castle was used as military headquarters. It was in this castle that Charles I was kept as a prisoner. The castle has an essence of the Georgian and Victorian design which that Gothic features.

Victorian Era Castles Windsor

Cardiff Castle

The Cardiff Castle is a medieval castle with Victorian architecture. In the 19th century, the castle was enlarged and given a Gothic Revival design. The transformation of the castle started in 1868 after John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute ordered William Burges to re-build the castle.

The process of rebuilding the castle commenced with the Clock tower. The skills of William Burges made the castle the most successful of all the fantasy castles of the 19th century. Cardiff castle was regarded as the last remaining great masterpiece of Gothic revival. The castle has been built using the materials like Bath stone, blue Pennant stone, and red brick. These are similar to the ones used for constructing Edwardian buildings.

Victorian-Era-Castles-Windsor-Cardiff-Lewis

Lewis Castle

It is a Victorian castle and was built between 1847 to 1857. This castle is built in the town of Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. The castle was built as a country house for Sir James Matheson and was designed by Charles Wilson.

There were other castles that though not built during the Victorian period were known for their history. The Leeds Castle is one such example. It was built by Edward I. It was converted from a fortress stronghold to a Royal palace by Henry VIII and during the 17th century was used to keep French and Dutch prisoners.

Warwick castle consisted of Guy’s tower and the Caesars tower which were added to the castle in the 14th century. These towers were constructed as a part of the curtain wall defenses. The castle was also used to hold prisoners. Other castles include the Hever castle which was a stronghold of Henry VIII wife Queen Anne Boleyn, the Pontefract Castle, Bodiam castle and the Caister castle that were built in England.

 

Victorian Era Castles

Peckforton Castle

The Peckforton Castle is an example of a castle in its true sense. The castle was built between 1844 to 1850 near the Peckforton Hill. It was built for Lord John Tollemache who at that time was the largest landowner in Cheshire. Lord Tollemache appointed Anthony Salvin to design the castle and it was built by Dean and Son of Leftwich.

This castle was built as a family home but its design was of medieval castle which was capable of withstanding a siege. The castle was equipped with a gatehouse, a portcullis, a dry moat, external windows and large towers. This castle was even regarded as the last serious fortified home which was built in England.

The castle is a three-storeys high and has a five-storey tower. The castle was built using red sandstone, lead, asphalt and tile roofs. The buildings are arranged around a ward and to the west of the inner-ward are stables, the coach house, a rectangular bell tower, kitchens and service area.

The outer-walls of the castle have full-height slender turrets. In the east-wing of the castle is a long gallery. There was also a library. The circular tower at the north-west corner of the castle contains octagonal dining room. The castle does not have any formal garden but there were vegetable gardens and an orchard. There was also a private family chapel on the east side of the castle.

Victorian castle Castell Coch

Castell Coch

It is a 19th century Gothic Revival castle and is built on the remains of a 13th century fortification. This castle is built in the north of Cardiff in Wales. Castell Castle was also known as Red castle. However, in the 15th century the castle was destroyed by mines and fire.

The castle was re-built using stone and comprised of a keep, towers, an enclosed courtyard and a gatehouse. In 1871, the third Marquess of Bute had issued orders to clear the site occupied by vegetation and debris.

He had aked for clearing out the area so that his architect, William Burges could survey the site and draw plans for the reconstruction of the castle. Bute and Burges wanted to make the castle a Gothic Revival masterpiece.

The castle was being build for summer residence for the family of the third Marquess of Bute. However, Burges died in 1881 before the castle could be completed. His work was taken up by his colleagues who finished the building of the castle. The most striking feature of this castle is tha round towers and conical roofs. Castell Coch has a single entrance.

While building the castle care was taken to keep the interior away from the outside cold. The Hall, the drawing room, Lord Butes bedroom and Lady Butes bedroom bring out the High Victorian Gothic style in the 19th century.

The drawing room has Aesops fable painted on its wall, while the Lady Butes bedroom showcased the influence of French, Gothic and Moorish designs. The exterior of the castle is an significant piece of architectural power and ability. Lady Bute resides in this castle for a while before her death.

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