When Was The Last Castle Built in The World?

When travelling countries like Germany, England, France seem like people have never stopped building castles, you might ask yourself when our ancestors constructed the last castle?

Castle Drogo, the last castle build in England

The last medieval-look castle built is Castle Drogo located 15 miles from Exeter, Devon, England. Julius Drewe erected Drogo between 1911 and 1930 the least castle completed in England and the rest of the world.

Castle Drogo, the last castle to be built in England

Built in the twentieth century, Castle Drogo is what Christopher Hussey, an architectural critic, calls “a castle built of granite on a mountain.” 

You’ll find Castle Drogo situated on a mountain in Drewsteignton, Exeter, overlooking the breathtakingly beautiful Teign Gorge. 

Julius Drewe, a self-made millionaire, in 1910, he bought a whopping 450 acres of land in Devon. At the time, he intended to build a castle. 

Being no castle expert himself, he contacted a famous architect known as Edwin Lutyens, to design the castle. 

It wasn’t until three years later in 1911; he laid the castle’s first foundations. It took up until 1930, in total it took him 30 years to complete his dream.

 If you’re a Game of Thrones (GoT) fan, you may be thinking this is a castle related to GoT! But it’s not. 

The castle got its name from Drogo de Teigen, the Drewes’ alleged forefather. In addition to this, it has stunning architecture; the castle is in the medieval and Tudor style.

 Plus, it also has minimalist contemporary elements infused within the castle too! 

The castle itself has a large three-story main block with four reception rooms, a hall, a dining room, a drawing room and a library. It also has a four-storey family block with an attached service chapel.

It gets better.

Castle Drogo has a unique medieval-style roof which is flat and is on average the size of two international football grounds!

Later on, in 1974, the Drewe family handed over the castle to the National Trust. Castle Drogo was the first building built in the twentieth century that National Trust acquired.

Castle Drogo is a Grade I listed building, and it has undergone a few conservation and renovation work over the years. 

Today, if you visit Castle Drogo, you’ll notice it is undergoing a conservation project to protect it by making it water-resistant.

But you can still visit its gorgeous gardens which surround the castle. Castle Drogo’s gardens are Grade II on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. 

Is Castle Drogo restoration finished?

When writing this article (January 2021 ), the Castle Drogo is coming to an end but still hasn’t opened its doors to the public.

National Trust spends millions of pounds fighting with the castle’s flat roof’s leaking water issue after buying the castle.

Tim Cambourne, Senior Project Manager for the National Trust, said everything had to be “absolutely perfect” to keep the water out.

Castle Drogo , England
Picture by Caroline Ingram on flickr.com

“The granite being very hard, it’s very unforgiving. The slightest crack in the mortar or a gap anywhere, because of the severity of weather we get here, it will drive water through.”

Being in the centre of England’s most beloved tourist destinations (Cornwall), many castle lovers can’t wait to contemplate Drogo’s interior.

We will keep you updated on social media about the Castle Drogo official opening.

Other Castles near in Cornwall and Devon to visit

If you have hit the castle’s closed doors and enjoying the gardens is not actually what you were looking for, we encourage you to check other medieval marvels in Cornwall and Devon.

Tintagel Castle

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall
Picture by Katherine Vogt on flickr.com

It is probably one of the most visited castles in Cornwall thanks to Kings Artur’s legend related to Tintagel Castle.

The historians say the site could be occupied during the Roman era but not yet proven.

The ruins that we see today Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall built in the 13th century during the High Middle Ages.

Launceston Castle

Launceston Castle ,Cornwall
Picture by Lanstefan Foto on flickr.com

Located on the border with Devon county near the town of Launceston,  Launceston Castle is a classical norman motte-and-bailey stronghold.

It’s probably that Robert the Count of Mortain built the castle after 1068 initially comprised an earthwork and timber castle and upgraded to a stone structure in the 12 century. 

Looking more like ruins at the first glimpse, the castle’s defensive feature remains, including the motte, keep and a high tower that overlooks the castle’s former deer park to the south.

ADDRESS: Castle Lodge, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 7DR

When was the last medieval castle built in England?

If you consider the medieval period, the duration from 5th to 15th century, Kirby Muxloe Castle in Leicestershire is the last medieval castle in England.

Kirby Muxloe Castle , England
Picture by Ingela Persson-Rue on flickr.com

 Lord William Hastings started the construction of the castle in October 1480. 

Although people lived in parts of the castle, Lord Hastings died before completing this project, so the castle remained incomplete.

 The ownership of the Kirby Muxloe changed a few times until English Heritage began managing it in 2006. 

The medieval castle underwent significant restoration work and is one of the Grade I listed buildings. 

Kirby Muxloe Castle has become a major tourist attraction as it is considered one of England’s medieval architectural marvels.

However, if we consider the medieval-style castle, Castle Drogo is the last medieval castle built, complete in 1930.

 Likewise, the Guedelon Castle under construction is also styled after a 13th-century medieval castle, making it a medieval castle still in the making.

By the way, check our list of best castles in England which you should consider visiting if you haven’t already.

How many castles still stand in England?

According to Wikipedia, there is an authoritative index of castles in England and Wales known as The Castellarium Anglicanum, published in 1983. In this index, there is a list of over 1,500 castle sites!

Only 800 castles left with visible remains in this list whereas the others on the list vanished without a single trace!

If you were to visit historic-uk.com, you’d notice they also have a list of around 200 castles in England, with a short description and an interactive map.

 It claims that the list is not comprehensive. However, the castles mentioned in the list are erect and inhabitable.

The truth is the number of castles that still stand in England depends on what kind of structures or buildings people referring to as a castle. 

If you are in England or plan to visit soon, why not check out our bucket list of 22 England’s best castles to visit.

Historians and archaeologists alike have not determined a castle’s definition, resulting in different lists with the varied count of castles. 

When was the last castle Built in Wales? 

The nineteenth-century Gwrych Castle was the last castle built in Wales. In Conwy County Borough in Wales, the castle’s Welsh name is Castell Gwrych which means hedged castle. 

Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh built this castle in memory of his mother, Frances Lloyd. The castle was constructed between 1810 and 1825 and is a Grade I listed building. 

The castle was nearly destroyed after it was closed to the public in 1987. 

Fortunately, Architectural Historian Mark Baker started the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust in 1997 to bring back the castle to its glory and succeeded.

The castle is labelled “The Showpiece of Wales” as it has turned into a major tourist spot.

You might didn’t know but Wales is the “country” with the most castles per square mile.

When was the last castle built in Scotland?

In Scotland, Carbisdale Castle was the last castle built between 1905 and 1917. 

Mary Caroline, the Dowager Duchess of Sutherland, the second wife of George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, commissioned builders from Ayrshire to construct the castle. 

The castle is built in the Scots Baronial style on a hill just outside the Sutherland land.

You may also know Carbidale Castle under its nickname “the Castle of Spite”, as she had a fallout with her husband’s family after his death. 

Her family would not allow her to build a castle in Sutherland, so she chose a hilltop location outside Sutherland but still visible to the family. 

Further, she deliberately left out the clock on the clock tower facing the family’s estate, denying them “the time of day.”

 

Final Thoughts

Castles are impressive, and sadly, it’s been nearly 100 years since the last castle in the world was build, Castle Drogo. 

Nowadays you will find many buildings converting castles into hotels or museums, abandoned, but no new ones built.

England has only 800 visible castles remaining, and some ruins of castles are slowly diminishing away!

 Many legacies and parts of history are slipping into the ground in other parts of the world.

At Castle Tourist, we believe in preserving as many castles as possible.

After all, they’re part of our heritage. 

Therefore we encourage you to visit as many as possible and offer a small donation to renovate and preserve these castles. 

A little bit of money might go a long way to preserving our history.

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Mihail Ghelbur

I have been a castle lover since I remember myself, couldn't go past a castle without finding all I could about it. Now my goal is to visit every single one of them and share it with you! https://castletourist.com/about-mihail-ghelbur/

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