A vibrant history of the castle in Britain, from the early Middle Ages to the present day
The castle has long had a pivotal place in British life, associated with lordship, landholding, and military might, and today it remains a powerful symbol of history. But castles have never been merely impressive fortresses—they were hubs of life, activity, and imagination.
John Goodall weaves together the history of the British castle across the span of a millennium, from the eleventh to the twenty-first century, through the voices of those who witnessed it. Drawing on chronicles, poems, letters, and novels, including the work of figures like Gawain Poet, Walter Scott, Evelyn Waugh, and P. G. Wodehouse, Goodall explores the importance of the castle in our culture and society.
From the medieval period to Civil War engagements, right up to modern manifestations in Harry Potter, Goodall reveals that the castle has always been put to different uses, and to this day continues to serve as a source of inspiration.
About the author:
John Goodall is the architectural editor of Country Life magazine. He is the author of The English Castle, Parish Church Treasures, God‘s House at Ewelme, and English House Style.
Old Wardour Castle © Wiltshite Life