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Best Castles, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales: Over 100 Castles to Discover and Explore Paperback – 27 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: David & Charles (27 Oct. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0715323776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0715323779
  • Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 15.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 926,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Oxfordshire Limited Edition Fascinating Guide Book --Oxfordshire Limited Edition

About the Author

The book is based on the Plantagenet Somerset Fry classic but has been researched and written by an experienced field-guide team; independently verified and entries checked by the castles' own officials for assured accuracy.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S.R.J VINE VOICE on 7 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my girlfriend, who I discovered has a bit of a thing about castles.Initially I was dubious , didnt think they were my thing. And then realised the book highlights one just a few miles away from me - Sandal castle. Didnt cost a penny to get in, fantastic views, amazing to think of the work that must have gone into building it.
Next Beeston castle in Cheshire-it has a real wow factor, the views from up there...which kinda makes sense, as, if you had a castle you needed to see who was on their way to try and make your life a misery.

Now the point is, I guess, that we are surrounded by them (castles that is) but often are oblivious to the fact there are so many.
Lots of good piccies in this book , bit of history in brief and location.
It actually makes for good fun , a relatively cheap book that has given great delight.Stays in the car now so if we are out and about....yes you can guess the rest.
Good quality publication at a good price-recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Get a preview before you visit 27 Dec. 2006
By Isaac VanDuyn - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am a big fan of ruined castles. I like ancient, crumbling old buildings from times long past. There are many such castles in the British Isles, but there are also many more "modern" castles, built hundreds of years after the medieval period, filled with sumptuous carpets and luxurious wall coverings and such. I can see the allure of these castles for some people, but they do not hold the same wonder for me, and when I am paying a lot of money to visit a foreign country, I want to optimize my experience as much as possible.

This book is wonderful because it lets me do just that. Many guidebooks (I use the Let's Go and Rough Guides) do not differentiate between different kinds of castles, and offer a brief description of each one. It's hard to know what you're getting into before you actually arrive. With this book, you can get a preview of each castle, so you're never surprised. I mentioned my personal love of ruins, but this book is great for any taste, or just the curious.

The information on each structure is sparse, and much attention is paid to the glorious full color photographs. I never got the impression this book was trying to be the authority on castle information however, and I think it succeeds admirably at its chosen task. It is a good supplemental guidebook if you're interested in the topic.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Lovely book 18 Sept. 2007
By N. A. Stasulis - Published on
Format: Paperback
Gorgeous photos, nice descriptions, but too short & not detailed enough. It would also have helped to have had captions under the photos; I frequently couldn't tell what I was looking at. I also wished it were longer. Overall a worthwhile book if a little on the shallow side.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Covers a lot of castles and fortresses 8 May 2011
By Will Kalif - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as part of preparation to visit great britain and see some castles. In this aspect the book is excellent. It covers a lot of castles. And it doesn't just cover the big ones like Windsor. It also covers ruins, motte and bailey, fortresses and more. With the inclusion of lots of pictures I can get a real sense of which castles I want to visit. In one sense the book kind of reminds me of a tag cloud where the more popular words are bigger than the others. And this is what this book does in a sense. The more popular, better preserved castles like Alnwick which is featured in the Harry Potter movies has two pages of information. While some of the smaller ruins will only have a paragraph.
The book starts out with a 20 page introduction that gives some nice information about castles, a timeline over the centuries, how they were built and what the different types are. It also has a nice map that is broken down by counties which helps me figure out where the various ones are.
For just about every castle in the book they give you background information, structural info, telephone number, website, and location.
If you are a castle fan this is a great reference, and if you plan on visiting castles this is an excellent way to help you figure out which ones you will see. Wish i could see them all.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Colorful Introduction to British Castles 6 Oct. 2008
By Allen Wayner - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book, Best Castles, is, I thought, a congenial introduction to ye olde English, Scots & Wales fortresses. The small color photos are nice, and the text is concise & well-written, giving historical background. There are also in-depth pages on castle life at different times. I used this book to pick out some other British single-castle guidebooks from Amazon U.S. and U.K., such as Hever Castle (where Henry VIII & Ann Boleyn met) with its modern Tudor village.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
One of the best books about the best castles 12 May 2012
By Jane in Milwaukee - Published on
Format: Paperback
I strongly disagree with the nay-sayers here who complain this book is too shallow or doesn't cover the right castles. I own many, many books on English castles, cathedrals, kings & queens and read them all the time. I'm a student of English history, particularly the Tudor era, and of needlework, especially Elizabethan.

I'm extremely familiar with England and its castles because my husband is from Carlisle in Cumbria and we have visited there many times. The castle was first started in the 11th century and much of the stonework was literally lifted from Hadrian's Wall which runs from Carlisle to Newcastle, roughly along the England/Scotland border. Carlisle Castle is one of the most intact but more boring medieval castles. This is because while it served its purpose for protecting England from the Scots, the most interesting thing about it is its history with Bonnie Prince Charlie and Mary Queen of Scots. No well-heeled family or great nobles lived in Carlisle Castle so, as a fortress, it's all walls and floors and no furniture or decorations. Whereas, as the book talks about, Hever has great furnishings, gardens and mazes. (As a lover of all that is Tudor, I ate up Hever's history with Henry VIII and his various wives. We learned there that the Great Lock on the Royal Bedchamber door was the real McCoy. One man's full-time job as Henry's locksmith was to take care of that lock 24/7.)

But I digress: this book is perfect for picking castles to visit. We have big clunky books with glossy pictures and lengthy histories and then tons of pamphlets and brochures that we pick up every time we're over. We use the road atlases to get around...but I always pull out this book because it fits in my purse, gives enough info on the trot so you can get to your destination before it closes. A large percentage of castles and other sites are run by Enlish Heritage and you pay fees for visiting and they have restricted hours in many. You can buy a pass like for our national parks. And many, like the ruins shown in the books, you can simply hike over and walk around. We've been to Hever, Bolton, Alnwick (prounounced "annic"), Barnard, Bamburgh, Brough (pronounced "bruff"), Brougham (pronounced "broom"), Clifford's Tower, Windsor, Edinburgh, The Hermitage, Pembroke and many others.

This book is pretty, pithy,and precise. It will get you to some memorable places. If you can't make it over the pond, it gives you enough information that will make you long to do so.
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