This is not an official Lego site.
These castles have all been built by Bob Carney using standard Lego bricks and other elements. Each castle is a scale model of a real European or Middle Eastern medieval castle. The first phase of each new project begins with in depth research, originally in libraries and now mostly on the internet, and then drawing the plans to "Lego scale", typically using 1/8" graph paper for plans, and elevations as well. Once I'm reasonably sure I've got enough of each kind of Lego brick needed to complete the project, I'm ready to build. The castles each take unique elements, so I'm often ordering some parts.
My current project, my 172nd castle, is the fortress/palace at Manzanares el Real near Madrid, Spain. I plan to drive the Castillo de los Mendoza to Brickworld Chicago over Father's Day weekend. I hope you'll be able to visit - it's quite a show! My 171st castle, is a lighted model of the Nehaj Fortress, located on a hill above the city of Senj on Croatia's Adriatic coast. I have just completed a rebuild of King Edward I's famous Harlech Castle [#170] on Wales' northwestern coast - an awesome castle in an awesome setting! The first half of 2018 was occupied by a more or less chronological progression of Scottish tower castles for a pair of exhibitions, first March 10-11, 2018 at the Decatur Home, Lawn and Garden Show at our Civic Center in Decatur, IL, and then at Brickworld 2018 in Schaumberg, near Chicago, over Father's Day weekend in June. The Scottish Castles Project, as I'm calling it, will feature 8 Scottish castles, from a simple tower to an elaborate Z-plan. The "progression" will be 1) a plain Scottish tower called Corgarff Castle [#166], famed now for its 18th century star-shaped barmkin; 2) a 15th century Scottish tower on Little Cumbrae [#164] Island in the middle of the Firth of Clyde, ruinous since the English Civil War; 3) a large tower with unusual parallel roofed garrets called Spedlins Tower [#165], restored on the west bank of the River Annan in Dumfriesshire; 4) an early L-plan called the Castle of Fiddes [#160], located about 4 miles SW of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire; 5) a very cute Scottish castle called Abbot's Tower [#163], located near the ruin of Sweetheart Abbey in Dumfriesshire; 6) an elaborate L-plan called Crathes Castle [#162], located near Aberdeen and one of the most visited and photographed in Scotland; 7) Castle Gogar [#168], a beautiful, white Y-plan tower just seven miles from Edinburgh Castle; and finally 8) an equally entrancing Z-plan on the Black Isle near Inverness called Kilcoy Castle [#167], restored in 1891 by famed architects, Ross and McBeth. I've added a 9th castle for Brickworld: Castle Tioram [#169], on a small tidal island in the Scottish Highlands.
I've also recently completed construction of the awesome fortress in Soncino, Italy, the Castillo di Rocca Sforzesca [#161]. Like La Mota in Spain, Soncino doesn't look too intimidating until you get up close and peer down into the 32' deep ditch, in this instance floodable on demand! It's my first southern European castle using dark orange Lego to mimic clay tile roofs -- and it took awhile to accumulate enough to finish the project! My 159th castle, the royal castle called Guimarães, is located in northern Portugal. The first castle on the site was built half a century before the millennium, and the current castle has survived almost 900 years, with a few repairs along the way. My 158th castle, the unique toll castle called Pfalzgrafenstein, which is nestled on a tiny island in the middle of the Rhine River in western Germany, was transported safely to Brickworld 2017 in Schaumburg, Illinois in mid-June. Otherwise, I've arranged the castles I've built by their country of origin. Just click on any of the castle names that interest you (or all of them if you like) and you'll be treated to several photographs and a plan of the real castle, a brief history (possibly with personal notes) and pictures of my Lego model. There's also a Build Your Own section with my working Lego plans (when not too large) and several URLs referring you to related castle sites on the World Wide Web.
You can also
click on the name of the country where the castles are located (or
the small picture) to link to a Castle Locator Map, with castles
listed in the order I built them [these maps are several years out of date. A
project for the future!] Also,
after countless emails, I've decided to include a FAQ section which will hopefully answer
most general questions. I'd still like to hear your comments! An
updated castle lineage is now available -- it shows the order in which the
castles were built and in which country the castle is located. The castle
currently under construction is also noted, as applicable.
I have also added a page for novice but enthusiastic castle builders which is basically made up of several of my early castles which have largely been ignored on this Main Page due to the larger later edition. Pictures of the smaller castles plus available plans and elevations can be found at Early Castles and should be more rewarding for the beginner. There is also a Castle Builders' Page where you can enjoy the efforts of some your colleagues! I will update it as regularly as I receive input from various Lego friends.
While researching and modeling castles is my love, occasionally I use my Lego to build other things. If you look at my Wartburg Castle page, you'll find links to my Reformation projects both in 2001 and 2017, the 500th Anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation! There's some more of my favorite non-castle projects on a page entitled Trains, Ships and Other Stuff, including my 22-oar Viking longboat. And in the spring of 2011, I built to mini-fig scale the Tomb of Queen Nefertari, Great Wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II, located in the Valley of the Queens in Egypt. The ancient artwork is not Lego hieroglyphics, but authentic. In addition, I've assembled, at the suggestion of my friend Dan Vallauri in Monaco, a page which I call Lego Bar Art. When my wife Judy and I remodeled our lower level in 2000 (see Storage System below), the playroom bar was covered with 48-stud Lego baseplates. I've been doing "mosaic art" on the bar face ever since, and I've decided to show it off, since others might enjoy making their own variation(s) on this theme. Let me know what you think.
Then there is a page describing the history, design, purchase and setup of my plastic tip-out bin storage system. If you are thinking about a major alteration in the way you are sorting and storing your Lego bricks, and you are willing to spend a fair amount of money for the huge convenience, then click on the link above. And don't forget about BrickWorld 2019 at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois next June. I'll be there with a castle or two! Finally, you will see no advertising on my webpage, but I must put in a plug for BrickJournal. And thank you all very much for visiting my Lego Castles webpage!
Tower of London
Castle of Fiddes
Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, and The Netherlands
Die Wartburg (Germany)
Italy, Spain and Portugal
Castel del Monte (Italy)
Manzanares el Real (Spain)
Mareccio [Maretsch] (Italy)
La Mota (Spain)
Rocca Scaligera (Sirmione, Italy)
San Giorgio (Mantua, Italy)
Soncino (Cremona, Italy)
Torre de Belém (Portugal)
Eastern Europe and the Near East
(Poland, Romania, Hungary, Estonia, Croatia, Israel, etc.)
Tvrdava Nehaj (Croatia)
Site created by Anne Sullivan, and maintained by Robert Carney.