Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Twentieth Century Castles in Britain

by Amicia de Moubray


20th Century Castles in Britain - Available: 7th March 2013, £30.00, Hardback

The unforgettable silhouette of Eilean Donan Castle at the confluence of three sea lochs in the Highlands, seen against the majestic backdrop of the mountains of Kintail, is an iconic image of Scotland and of Scottish history that adorns calendars, shortbread tins and whisky bottles worldwide. Not many people realise that the castle was only finished in 1932. Along with Lutyens's slightly better known Lindisfarne of 1906, and Castle Drogo of 1930, it represents the astonishing survival of a nostalgia for the middle ages well into our own lifetimes. This book is the first to investigate and illustrate the phenomenon.

These 20th century castles are not only (relatively) modest country houses in remote and rugged areas, but some are also colossal and fabulously expensive recreations of complete medieval complexes like Herstmonceux, Leeds, Hever, Saltwood and Allington in Kent and Sussex, specifically chosen for their proximity and easy access to London. And beyond the conventional extravagance of the millionaire (often spending the money of his American wife) there were the demented fantasies of the likes of William Randolph Hearst whose St Donat's in Wales boasted thirty bathrooms and a swimming pool with underwater lighting, and Gordon Selfridge's Hengistbury with its proposed 300 bedroom suites and a tower as high as St Paul's.

Amid all these extraordinary fantasies, and the almost equally extraordinary stories associated with them, however, is a more serious narrative about the conservation and restoration of Britain's historic castles and monuments. How is it that at the end of the twentieth century, as conservation battles rage, there is an almost incredible resurgence of neo-medievalism with brand-new castles being built in England, Scotland and Wales? This book tells their story.

Author Amicia De Moubray is a journalist and editor specialising in architecture, heritage and interiors. She has written for Country Life, Vogue (USA), World of Interiors, House & Garden, and the Architects' Journal. She lives in Sittingbourne, Kent.

Discount info for SCA Members and our site visitors:

To order Twentieth Century Castles in Britain for the special offer price of £24 (incl. UK P&P) please call Bookpoint on 01235 400 400 and quote the offer code 46SCA and book ISBN 9780711231788.

This book will be available to buy online and in all good bookshops.

The Amazon link is as follows:
Click here to buy this book from Amazon

For further information please contact:
Andrew Compton, Marketing and Publicity Executive
T: 020 7284 9340 E:

Added: 20 Feb 2013 Updated: 11 May 2018
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