These relics of a bygone age are just as awe-inspiring today as they were centuries ago.

While the age of kings, queens, and knights in shining armor is now largely confined to the realms of fantasy novels and elaborate TV shows, the soaring castles of that distant past are still very much with us. And while the medieval fortresses dotted around the landscape of the U.K. are no longer used for beating off hordes of invading marauders from land and sea, they do function as an epic window into a time when the land really was a Kingdom. Here are 15 of the best examples still with us.

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