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 despite my planning.
Great news! I've turned 80, and I'm still building castles. Two projects are about to begin. They will likely be built simultaneously, a lot depending on whether I need to pause either project to order more Lego elements. Castle #183 will be the famous castle gorgeously placed on Eilean Donan [Island of Donan] at the convergence of Lochs Long, Duich and Alsh in western Scotland. The model will be displayed at Brickworld Chicago 2023 over Fathers' Day weekend. Model #184 is in honor of our trip to Croatia in April 2024: the pretty castle that is iconic for the city an hour north of Zagreb: the Stari Grad Varaždin. You'll love this project. I will create links to these two projects when construction begins, likely before the end of March.
Castle #182 is the stunning Castillo de Almansa in southeastern Spain. #181 was a large model of Dirleton Castle just east of Edinburgh, Scotland. It was an interesting and unique project in that the most castle-like version of this structure was the first, built by the French de Vaux family. Later restorations were far more 'residential'. So my model was somewhat speculative, since the original castle was very badly damaged in the war with England in the 1290's. It's a beautiful project. My previous project, for display at Brickworld 2022, was five models of the same Scottish tower house, Pitcullo Castle in Fife near St. Andrews, as an example of the chronology of a typical castle over 450 years. Numbered 176 through 180, the models are to be the original late 16th century L-plan, the mid-17th century U-plan, the deteriorating ruin, the 1971 restoration and the 1980s 'gentrification'. The five models were being constructed simultaneously, which was a blast. And the concept was very popular at Brickworld, particularly among the thousands of adult visitors.
The only 2021 model, #175, was the Château de Villandraut, a magnificent residence for Pope Clement V near Bordeaux, France. Construction began on October 22, and was finished on November 18, 2021. My 174th castle, and first collaboration, was an 11½ foot long model of the famous Alcazar of Segovia, a royal castle just north of Madrid, Spain. It was completed in early June 2020 for Brickworld Chicago, which, of course, never became a reality due to the pandemic. It had dozens of lighted room interiors and was viewable from both sides! During February 2021 it was on display at the Anne Lloyd Gallery of the Decatur Area Arts Council, and was ready to transport to Brickworld in June 2021, until it was also cancelled! The 70,661 Lego element castle has since been dismantled, but there are lots of pictures! And here is my 173rd castle: The very nice ruin of Baltersan Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland, finished in early September, 2019! My 172nd castle is the fortress/palace at Manzanares el Real near Madrid, Spain. I drove the Castillo de los Mendoza to Brickworld Chicago over Father's Day weekend in June 2019. I hope you were 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. Prior to that, I completed a rebuild of King Edward I's famous Harlech Castle [#170] on Wales' northwestern coast - an awesome castle in an awesome setting!
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 of 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 2020 at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois next June. Assuming the Covid 19 Crisis is past, I'll be there with a huge castle! 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
Alcazar of Segovia (Spain)
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.