From the motte and bailey strongholds of the Norman Conquest to the powerful coastal forts of Henry VIII, England’s castles are places where the story of England was forged, and where it can be retold.
Centuries after they were built, these castles still take us on adventures into the past. They are vital links to lives that came before our own, and an endless source of inspiration for young and old alike.
But today our castles are under siege once more. Invasive plants, severe weather and pollution are threatening walls that have stood for centuries. Without expert conservation our castles could crumble, their stories lost forever and our landscape changed irrevocably.
What needs to be done?
The damage that has been done to the castles by plant growth and gradual erosion needs to be put right, and soon. Our experts need to remove plants that are growing deep into the ancient masonry. Then, highly-skilled stonemasons must re-bed loose masonry and use bespoke lime mortars to repoint any joints that have been wrenched apart by strong roots. In some cases, they will have to replace badly eroded stones to strengthen weakened walls.
Our experts will be working to the highest standards, using the most appropriate materials to preserve the historic fabric of each individual site.
We have 66 castles in our care, and as you can imagine, this kind of high-quality specialist work comes at a high cost.
So we need your help.
How you can help
Since we became a charity just over three years ago, we’ve had to rely more and more on the generosity of people who think that England’s rich heritage is worth protecting. And that’s why we’re asking for your help now.
We need to raise £50,000 to carry out this work, and we can’t do it alone. This is your chance to show your support for these remarkable buildings.
£25 covers the cost to remove vegetation from one square metre of wall. £50 pays for three hours of an expert stonemason’s time, and £75 enables half a square metre of stonework to be repointed. But anything you can give will make a difference.
You can help save England’s castles. You can make sure they stay open for visitors of all ages to explore and enjoy. You can preserve them as powerful reminders of our country’s past, and you can keep their stories alive for future generations.
And you can do it by supporting our appeal today.
By supporting you are helping to save England's castles by helping us reverse the damage caused by plant growth and erosion. As an extra thank you, we've lined up a range of rewards. If you would prefer not to receive a reward, you can support the project by clicking 'donate'.
Postcards & prints
Exclusive to English Heritage, digital artist Dave Thompson has re-created our famous castle sites in the classic style of the 1930’s travel poster.
The prints are 35.5 cm x 27.8 cm.
Prints and postcards will be delivered by 31st October 2018.
Our special behind-the-scenes tours will give you an opportunity to see some of our castles ‘out-of-hours’.
Dates are as follows:
Carlisle Castle, Story of the Sieges:
Friday 5th October or Monday 8th October - morning or evening time slot available. Max 20 people per tour.
Deal Castle, Twilight Tour:
Tuesday 25th September, 6.30 - 8.00pm - max 20 people per tour.
Bolsover Castle, A view from the Roof:
Friday 21st September or Friday 28th September, 11am - 1pm - max 20 people per tour
Dover Castle, Dumpy Level tour:
Date TBC - max 20 people per tour
We will be in touch in September 2018 to confirm a date with you
Fire a cannon:
Date TBC - max 2 people per firing
We will be in touch at the end of August 2018 to confirm a date with you
Keep up to date with #LoveCastles
What is English Heritage?
English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites, bringing the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year.
In 2015 we became an independent charity, so the support of our members and donors is more important than ever before.