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From the Queen’s summer home at Balmoral to dramatic Glamis Castle, inspiration for Macbeth; from the Scottish national symbol of Edinburgh Castle, to the battlements of Caernarfon, birthplace of the first Prince of Wales; and from the Tolkienesque fantasy of the Dunluce ruins to Blarney Castle and its magical stone; all of the history, myth and beauty of Scotland, Wales and Ireland is here.

Immersed in history, visually imposing and set in stunning locations, medieval castles and cathedrals are to many the essence of Britain and Ireland’s fascinating past. This full-colour, beautifully photographed book celebrates 60 of the grandest and most historically significant of these formidable stone structures.

Around these striking images, Rodney Castleden has weaved a fascinating and detailed text, telling not just of the construction, history and often destruction of these magnificent buildings, but also the human stories from behind their ancient walls. These are the stories of Kings, Queens and feuding lords; conquest, war and bloody conflict; treason, revenge and murder…