This site is designed to be a comprehensive listing of the medieval castles, castle sites, fortified houses, urban and coastal defences and other fortifications of England and Wales built or in use from 1000 to 1600. It's not a history of castles and users of the site are expected to have a basic understanding of castles and medieval England and Wales. The site is a resource for those interested in castles studies both professional and amateur. It is probably of more interest to the archaeologist than the historian. It is unlikely to be of much interest to the genealogist.
This is an ambitious project and any such list is bound to have omissions and errors. However, it is hoped that by using the flexible and responsive media of the Internet that this list can be as comprehensive and as current as possible. I've taken, as my standard for what is a fortification, that which the various authors I draw my information from consider to be a fortification, although some sites have later been rejected as fortification and these are noted as such. Sites which consist of entirely passive defences such as moated houses and walled sites without wall walks and parapets are generally excluded. However, as a 'control group' I do list all the royal and episcopal residential houses and hunting lodges of the period (lumped together under the title 'palace'). Some of these were fortified but many were not. Defining castles is difficult and any definition of a castle should also explain why some places of equal social status were not castles.
The site consists of three main sections. The first is the listings of medieval fortifications; the second is a listing of the texts and online sources used in compiling information for these lists, this section also contains details of some other important or useful texts and Internet resources; the third section is a collection of other resources of interest to castle studies such as distribution maps and a list of licences to crenellate.
There are relatively few pictures in this site since the information on the site takes up several ten of megabytes of space. I hope the content will make up for the lack of bells and whistles.
A project of this type is certain to require the help of others. My thanks those who have helped.
While I have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the data held within this web site and the associated downloadable databases, it must be appreciated that much of this is compiled from secondary sources and that the information supplied may not be a full or reliable statement of the archaeological resource. I shall not be held liable in respect of any errors or omissions from the listing provided. (i.e. If you use this site for something important check the secondary sources that I give and then the sources they have used.)