25 Most Amazing Moats You’ll Want To See

Posted by , Updated on September 8, 2018

Moats, as many would recall it, are mostly found surrounding fortresses, castles, and other structures that demand an elevated level of defense. These bodies of water surrounding mighty edifices serve as primary protection so that soldiers and other melee groups will not easily penetrate the guarded territory. Some moats are dug very deep while others are infested with fishes that feast on human flesh. These days however, moats are typically an addition to the beauty and majesty of castles and forts that were once symbols of war. Let us venture into these famous places and visit the 25 Most Amazing Moats You’ll Want To See.


Fagaras Castle (Fagaras, Romania)

fagarasSource: https://rolandia.eu/fagaras-fortress/

Built by Transylvanian rulers in the 16th century, this citadel and the moat surrounding it staved off invaders for centuries and was never once successfully conquered from the outside. Its downfall came from within due to treason, and eventually it was controlled by communists who used it as a dreadful prison.


Egeskov Castle (Funen, Denmark)

egeskovSource: https://www.egeskov.dk/en/history

Due to political unrest with the Reformation and Counts’ Feud, this castle was built right on a lake to create a surrounding moat. It was strategically designed for defense purposes so that if an invasion came, they could successfully fend it off. Around for 400 years and occupied by many families, it is now a tourist attraction.


Orebro Castle (Orebro, Sweden)

234Source: https://castles.today/castles/castles/sweden/%C3%B6rebro/history/

It’s believed this castle was build in the mid-13th century. It was built on an island surrounded by the Svartån River, making it an ideal defensive location. Over the years, the castle was expanded and became the residence of several monarchs before becoming a prison and falling into decay.


Fort Macon (Morehead Township, North Carolina)

fort maconSource: https://www.ncparks.gov/fort-macon-state-park/history

This Civil War-era fort is surrounded by water at the Bogue Banks and was engineered by a young Robert E. Lee. It had become a prime Naval fort for both Union and Confederate forces until after the war when it was turned into a prison.


Deal Castle (Kent, United Kingdom)

deal castleSource: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/deal-castle/

Built by King Henry VIII, this castle is a prime example of Tudor warfare. It’s moat does not utilize water and is man made. In fact, during particularly rainy seasons, the moat would fill up too much with water and cause significant damage.


Scotney Castle (Kent, United Kingdom)

204Source: http://www.nationaltrustcollections.org.uk/place/scotney-castle

Built in 1378 by Roger Ashburnham, this castle is mostly a fairytale ruin now. It’s now a tourist attraction with a beautiful view of the castle sitting right on top of the moat’s waters.


Herstmonceux Castle (East Sussex, United Kingdom)

Herstmonceux_CastleSource: https://www.herstmonceux-castle.com/history/

Built during the 13th century, this castle would fall into disrepair and remain abandoned until 1910 when it was purchased and totally refurbished, including re-flooding the moat. Eventually, it became home to scientific research and astronomical associations.


Zitadelle Spandau (Berlin, Germany)

Zitadelle_Spandau_-_Berlin_-_2014Source: https://www.visitberlin.de/en/zitadelle-spandau-spandau-citadel

This fortress was constructed to protect the city of Berlin and was practically impenetrable thanks to its solid construction and moat. Today, it’s a home for the arts.


Hever Castle (Hever, United Kingdom)

hever castleSource: https://www.hevercastle.co.uk/visit/hever-castle/history/

Built in 1270 and home to some of the most powerful families in England, this castle took 800 men to build. They designed Hever Lake to act as a defensive wall and a beautiful landscaping feature.


Ightham Mote (Kent, United Kingdom)

ightham moteSource: http://www.fowliswesterby.com/monday-morning-ghost-3-the-grey-lady-of-ightham-mote/, https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ightham-mote/lists/who-would-live-in-a-place-like-this

This castle is so old no one knows the identity of the original builders and owners. Rumor has it former tenants discovered a secret room with a skeleton sitting in the chair and that the room would become incredibly cold despite heating it.


Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte (Maincy, France)

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte (Maincy, France)Source: http://www.vaux-le-vicomte.com/en/decouvrir/the-history/

This massive estate is surrounded by an extraordinary moat. The creator and owner, Nicolas Fouquet, achieved massive success and quickly climbed the social ladder at the time. However, he soared so high a rival accused him of embezzling money. He was arrested and after a long trial was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison where he died.


Leeds Castle (Kent, United Kingdom)

leeds castleSource: https://www.leeds-castle.com/History

This castle traces it’s history all the way back to 1119 and has been home to many monarchs throughout England’s history. Since then, it’s gone through significant changes, repair, and expansions, including construction of the moat.


Gold Pyramid House (Wadsworth, Illinois)

pyramid houseSource: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/onans-gold-pyramid-house

This strange home surrounded by a moat is said to be covered in 24-karat gold and could be the largest object of its kind.


Castle Loevestein (Poederoijen, Netherlands)

leovesteinSource: https://excitinghistory.com/de-middeleeuwen/poederoijen-slot-loevestein

This castle is placed strategically and purposefully where the Maas and Waal rivers meet. This creates the moat, but it’s also an ideal spot for watching river traffic.


Caerphilly Castle (Caerphilly, United Kingdom)

Caerphilly_CastleSource: http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/caerphilly-castle/?lang=en

This medieval castle not only has a massive moat surrounding it but a wall in front of the moat as well, giving it ample defensive capability.


Fort Monroe (Fort Monroe, Virginia)

fort monroeSource: https://www.encyclopedia.com/places/united-states-and-canada/miscellaneous-us-geography/fort-monroe

This six-sided fort surrounded by a moat is the only one of its kind in the United States. At the end of the Civil War, Jefferson Davis was held there for a year.


Bakong Temple (Siem Reap, Cambodia)

bangkokSource: https://www.renown-travel.com/cambodia/angkor/bakong.html

This ancient structure built in the 9th century is actually surrounded by two moats.


Beaumaris Castle (Isle of Anglesey, United Kingdom)

Beaumaris_CastleSource: http://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/beaumaris-castle/?lang=en

Built in the 13th century, this castle is considered one of the most technically perfect and symmetrical in the world with few equals.


Castillo de San Marcos (St. Augustine, Florida)


This fort and moat is unique in the United States for both its “bastion system” of fortification and for the materials it used. It used a form of limestone called coquina. 


Chateau du Plessis-Bourre (Ecuille, France)

Chateau_du_Plessis-Bourre_Vue_SE_noSource: http://www.plessis-bourre.com/en/discover-the-castle/history/

This French chateau uses the “transition style” of fortification with double drawbridges and large moats for defense.


Muiderslot Castle (Muiden, Netherlands)

castle moatSource: https://www.muiderslot.nl/en/castle/history/

Built in 1285, this keep was strategically built at the mouth of the river Vecht by Count of Holland Floris V. Floris was kidnapped and murdered during a falcon hunt and his keep burned to the ground, but it was eventually rebuilt.


Angkor Wat (Angkor, Cambodia)

ankor watSource: https://www.livescience.com/23841-angkor-wat.html

A temple that needs little introduction, this famous archaeological site was built in the 9th century and has a giant moat 650-feet wide with a three mile perimeter.


Caerlaverock Castle (Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom)

Caerlaverock_CastletlandSource: https://www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/caerlaverock-castle-p248631

While this castle now stands as a ruin, it was once one of Scotland’s finest strongholds. Much of its demise came from its close proximity with England and their conflicts.


Bodiam Castle (East Sussex, England)

Bodiam castleSource: https://bodiamcastle.uk/

Built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge to defend against France during the 100 Years War, this castle design is iconic and what you likely think of when you think of the word, “castle.”


Charles Sieger Home (Miami, Florida)

miami moatSource: https://miami.curbed.com/2013/8/20/10207254/sieger-suarez-water-castle-redlands-on-the-market

Created by architect Charles Sieger, this massive castle in Miami, Florida, is surrounded by a almost-perfectly shaped oval moat.

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