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****Castles of Britain and Ireland

The Ultimate Reference Book

A Region-by-Region Guide to Over 1,350 Castles

by Plantagenet Somerset Fry

Reviewed July 29, 2003.
Abbeville Press Publishers, New York, 1997.  336 pages.
From $28.97 on

I bought this book via Amazon a couple of years ago, before we visited Ireland.  It’s too heavy to carry along on a trip, but if you love castles and have any chance to visit the British Isles, it’s the perfect book to have.

The first thirteen chapters (115 large pages) thoroughly explain the history of castles in the British Isles.  They include beautiful color pictures and diagrams, giving examples of castles built at different time periods.

The remaining half of the book is the “gazetteer”—alphabetical lists of all the castles in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  It was from this book that I learned that there was a castle with my family name in Ireland, Hatch Castle.  I use it to help choose places to visit before a trip and look up the castles I’ve visited after a trip.  I do wish someone would write such a book (in English) about castles in Germany!  It’s very interesting to learn why English castles are different from Irish Castles and Scottish Castles and why they’re all totally different from German castles.

This is a wonderful reference for hard-core castle devotees like me.



Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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