All LEGO Castles Ranked From Worst To First

25th July 2022

LEGO Castle is one of the longest running themes, having been introduced in 1978 alongside Town and Space. It's also one of the most popular, especially amongst older LEGO enthusiasts who attach a strong sense of nostalgia to the classic castles of the 1980s and 1990s.

The LEGO castle concept is going through a renaissance this year, with the release of the huge Lion Knights' Castle, as well as the Forest Hideout GWP (Gift With Purchase). Therefore, we thought it an apt time to cast a critical eye over all of LEGO's other historically inspired castles and fortresses to rank them all from worst to best. This includes all those released under the Castle theme, as well as recent additions that have come out under the Creator theme and Bricklink's Designer Programs.

The sets that can be categorically termed castles is debatable, but we have eliminated all those sets that depict accompanying buildings, such as gatehouses and outposts. Strongholds belonging to certain factions, such as the Forestmen, Ninjas, and Trolls are not considered to be castles in the traditional sense and therefore have been excluded from this list.

22. The Castle of Morcia (8781)

LEGO The Castle of Morcia set

The Knights' Kingdom II subtheme ran from 2004 to 2006 and departed from the conventional castle look. The box art, minifigures, and set designs paint a fantastical and other worldly ambiance. The Castle of Morcia appeared in the first wave of sets and came in at 637 pieces. From the front, the build looks substantial despite its modest piece count, but turn it around and you will see a disappointingly barren interior.

Around the time this set was released, LEGO had fallen on hard times and were making some experimental models to try and turn their fortunes around. This is clearly evident in the cast of minifigures, as they more closely resemble Power Rangers than medieval knights. The unique feature of this set was the ability to rotate various elements of the castle around to change the colour scheme from the royal blue to the dark red of the villains. You have to give LEGO some credit for trying something new, and while it did enhance the playability, it could have been executed far better. We feel the effort would have been better channelled into improving the build, which as it stands is rather simplistic. The parts selection is the set's only saving grace, as you get plenty of accessories, flags, and scorpions!

21. Mistland's Tower (8823)

LEGO Mistland's Tower set

The Mistland's Tower was another set from the experimental Knights' Kingdom II range. It came at the end of the subtheme's life and by that time LEGO had thankfully got rid of the ridiculous multi-coloured knights in favour of more muted colour palettes. However, the minifigure selection is still very humdrum. In addition to their dull designs, the helmets look oversized and impractical.

The build suffers from some of the same drawbacks as the Castle of Morcia, such as the sparse interior, which is one of the reasons it places low on our list. The piece count is one of the smallest on this list, but it does contain some useful parts for your own castle construction, some of which are rare or exclusive. While this set looks significantly better than the Castle of Morcia, we're just not a fan of the peculiarities of the Knights' Kingdom II concept.

20. King Leo's Castle (6091 / 6098)

LEGO King Leo's Castle set

King Leo's Castle was released in 2000 under the first version of the Knight's Kingdom subtheme. The set has a relatively small piece count of just over 500 pieces, most of which are large parts, making for a monotonous and dumbed-down build. The focus was clearly on delivering playability rather than a pleasurable building experience.

Like many castle sets, it has a modular design and is made up of interchangeable buildings and towers. This gave a degree of customisation, as elements of other sets in the subtheme could be substituted in to change the look of the castle. It's understandable why LEGO did this, as it encouraged people to invest in multiple sets and allowed them to create their own personalised stronghold. However, to achieve this you end up with a castle littered with gaps and King Leo's Castle therefore lacks any sense of impenetrability. There were also far too few pieces to cover the large baseplate, and the result was a fortress that felt more like a fortified gazebo in places.

By far the biggest pro of King Leo's Castle is its 8 minifigures. all of which have the charming old-fashioned look of those in the classic Castle sets. The King's bearded face is especially delightful, and we got the first occurrence of a female knight.

19. King's Castle (70404)

LEGO King's Castle set

There have been many “King's Castle” sets over the years, with this one being the most recent to bear that mantle. It was released in 2013 and comprised just shy of 1,000 pieces. For that piece count you get a substantial and fully enclosed castle, which is much more preferable to the holey constructions we saw throughout the 2000's. To achieve this, there is extensive and repetitive use of the 1x3x5 grey wall panels that were a cornerstone of the classic castles. While these are useful for MOCs, they make for an uninspiring building experience.

The whole castle has a juniorised look and the blue tops to the crenelations look out of place. Of the fairly average seven minifigures that are provided, the knights with their decorative armour are the pick of the bunch. While there's nothing glaringly wrong with this castle, it lacks imagination and creativity and looks rather boring.

18. King's Castle (10176)

LEGO King's Castle set

King's Castle took the Royal Knight's Castle as a basis but fell well short in its recreation. It does not have the same pleasing aesthetic of the classic sets and despite having more pieces, looks like a less complete build because of gaps between the walls. The brick-built entrance also doesn't sit flush to the main gateway. The modular style construction, which allows you to switch the position of the towers, just ends up giving the castle a very disjointed feel.

While it comes with an impressive number of minifigures, with 12 in total, this is a case of quantity over quality. Most lack any printing whatsoever and even the King is remarkably bland and doesn't have the adornments befitting of a royal leader.

The few plus points are the set's decent playability and the large moulded baseplate, which was the last to feature in any castle set. Subsequently, for a long period following this set, all of LEGO's castle creations lacked a topographical component and were worse off because of it.

17. Night Lord's Castle (6097)

LEGO Night Lord's Castle set

Released in 1997 under the Fright Knights subtheme, this set was the first to provide a truly formidable enemy to the knights and their ruler. The Night Lord's Castle was the headquarters of Basil the Bat Lord (not the most frightening name) and Willa the Witch, a powerful and evil sorceress. The dark fantastical nature of the Fright Knights was not to everyone's taste, with most castle fans preferring the traditional medieval style.

The castle is not the most attractive, but it cuts a very imposing structure that towers above most other builds. Those who are not satisfied with the design will find the set inventory packed full of useful parts for their own creations, especially the large black columns that are hard to find. The minifigure selection is respectable for the 601-piece count. The best of these is the Bat Lord who has a cool printed cloak and interesting headpiece, although he is not unique to this set, having appeared in three others. The black, barded horse and black dragon are also cool additions. We like that LEGO tried something new in this set, but it could have been executed better.

16. King's Mountain Fortress (6081)

LEGO King's Mountain Fortress set

The King's Mountain Fortress was released in 1990 and was the first to be built around a moulded baseplate. While we're proponents of them, baseplates were costly to manufacture and ate into set budgets, which can be particularly noticeable in smaller builds. For example, here the result is a castle that ends up looking very sparse atop its green mound. There have been sets that have used a baseplate to great effect, but this isn't one of them.

One of the most disappointing aspects is the caste's lack of defensive capability, with the courtyard walls being alarmingly low. The whole build is in want of some more detail as it feels rather open and exposed. The drawbridge mechanism is also clumsy and the courtyard feels like it was an afterthought, as if LEGO didn't know what to do with that space.

There are no complaints with the minifigures. You get eight, including a glow-in-the-dark ghost and two knights with the pointed visors that all debuted in the 1990 waves of castle sets, as well as a much-coveted horse with beautiful red and yellow barding. This set was a stepping stone for much better baseplate castles in the years that followed.

15. Vladek's Dark Fortress (8877)

LEGO Vladek's Dark Fortress set

Vladek's Dark Fortress was the largest set released under the Knight's Kingdom II range and is the headquarters of Lord Vladek and his cronies. Like many of the early sets in this subtheme, it contains the colourful Power Ranger-esk knights who are armed here with a couple of silly-looking contraptions to help them storm the dark walls of the evil fortress. Like many older LEGO fans, we are not a huge fan of the eccentricities of many of the Knight's Kingdom II sets, as it departs too much from the historical basis in which the original Castle theme was rooted. However, there is a very nice map on the back of the box which helps to try and explain the strange world in which the second generation of Knights Kingdom is set. LEGO was obviously trying to achieve a Middle Earth vibe, and this fortress wouldn't look out of place in Mordor.

If you can forgive the idiosyncrasies of the heroes, you'll find the main build provides a substantial villainous lair for the knights to attack. The striking black and red colour scheme looks good and makes it stand out in comparison to some other castles. There are a number of nice play features, such as swivelling and collapsible walls, decent drawbridge, and a variety of defences. There are also plenty of spacious interior rooms to battle away in. As a play set, Vladek's Dark Fortress performs well and it's a good set for fashioning your own sinister stronghold, as there is an abundance of handy and rare pieces.

14. Knight's Castle (6073)

LEGO Knight's Castle set

It's hard to be objective about Castle sets that came out in the 1980s and review them critically without looking through the misty lens of nostalgia. Those who grew up with them will have fond memories of endless happy hours spent waging wars on the living room floor. These sets are now regarded as classics, with a simple charm that is lacking from their modern counterparts. The Knight's Castle is one of those whose beauty comes from its clean lines and functional design, and it's this simplicity that also gives the stronghold a well-fortified appearance. While many of LEGO's later castles were littered with unsightly splashes of colour, the red entrance at the front is the perfect amount to break up the very grey build.

You got six well-equipped Black Falcon's to defend the fortress, which feels about right for its size. The only criticisms of the Knight's Castle is that it lacks the elegance of other castles and its diminutive size means there are less possibilities for play.

13. King's Castle Siege (7094)

LEGO King's Castle Siege set

The Fantasy Era subtheme, which ran from 2007 to 2009, brought us skeletons, trolls, and dragons as the main adversaries to the king and his knights. As mentioned previously, the fantasy-based subthemes divided opinion, with many older LEGO fans considering their lack of historical accuracy as a turnoff and a gimmick aimed at enhancing their appeal to children.

This castle is not too extravagant with its design and retains a conventional aesthetic. The 973-piece count puts this set amongst the larger builds. For a stronghold of this size, there are a variety of rooms that enhance its playability, such as a jail, throne room, small stable, and treasury with some decent treasure. The well concealed collapsing wall is a fantastic design element that's bound to feature in any staged siege. The uniform construction of the walls also makes the castle's footprint easily expandable.

One of the biggest merits of the King's Castle Siege is the dragon figure, which is a marked improvement over the classic green dragons, and is now highly desirable. Atop the impressive dragon sits the menacing Skeleton general, who along with head knight are the best minifigures of the ten provided.

The negatives are the lack of stairs connecting the upper levels and the poorly designed portcullis, which sticks out the top of the gatehouse.

12. King's Castle (7946)

LEGO King's Castle set

This set was the third set to bear the moniker of “King's Castle” and was released in 2010 under the Kingdoms subtheme. This is one of our favourite subthemes as it marked a return to the more historically accurate sets that focused on the various aspects of medieval life. There was also some nice continuity with the colour schemes used throughout the theme, as the red decorations on the King's Castle matches that of the 10223 Kingdoms Joust and 7948 Outpost Attack sets.

From the outside the King's Castle looks good, with a pleasing shape to its walls and a nice, spired tower. The drawbridge works well and unlike a lot of the early castles, we get a concealed portcullis, rather than one that sticks out the top of the gateway. The modular walls also allow for some easy expansion and customisation. The design is remarkably similar to the original 6080 King's Castle, which appears later on our list.

Only eight minifigures are provided, which isn't many for the 933-piece count, but by this time the minifigure to piece ratio was dwindling. However, we get one of the best kings LEGO has ever made. His red and gold colour scheme and chrome-plated crown look resplendent.

On the downside, the build is a bit juniorised, the design lacks creative or complex building techniques, and there is an over reliance on stickers. The evil Dragon Knights are also underpowered, but overall this is amongst the better castles LEGO has made.

11. Castle (375 / 6075)

LEGO Castle set

The very first castle LEGO released to consumers has become iconic, thanks to its vibrant yellow bricks and the important part it plays in LEGO history. It appeared in Europe in 1979 and two years later in North America, and despite its age it still looks good today. The build is very simple by modern standards, as LEGO had a limited selection of bricks to play with at the time, but they made very good use of them. The layout is fairly generic but functions well. The drawbridge is very nicely done and works better than many others.

The Castle contained a colossal amount of minifigures. However, all 14 of them rely on stickers to get their detailing, so nowadays it's very hard to find them in good condition. The horse moulds were not developed until 1984 so the horses are brick built and look slightly comical. The knight's helmets are very distinctive with their plumes moulded to the visor, which we think looks as good as any other helmet LEGO have come up with.

Seeing as this was LEGO's first foray into the castle concept, you can't expect any hidden gimmicks and surprises. What you see is what you get, but it still offers a good play experience. Its eye-catching colour scheme also means it looks fantastic on display.

10. Medieval Castle (31120)

LEGO Medieval Castle set

The Medieval Castle is one of the few on this list not to be released under the Castle theme. Arriving in 2021 under the Creator 3-in-1 range was surprising to many. LEGO's evolution is clear in this set, as it's incredibly detailed compared to older castles. The range of techniques used to achieve this make for a very enjoyable building experience. The interior includes a blacksmith, armoury, small chambers, prison, watermill, and food stall, which together offer great playability. The two alternative builds are also very nice, meaning it's worth purchasing three of this set (if you have the budget) to connect all three together.

All the small pieces used to create the different angles and textures lead to a substantial piece count of 1,426. The castle itself is quite large but you only get two Black Falcons to protect it. They are however very fine Black Knights that have been nicely modernised with some more intricate printing. The peasant minifigure looks completely out of place and as though he's just been washed up outside the castle, as LEGO chose to reuse a torso piece from the Pirates of Barracuda Bay set.

Not everyone will be a fan of the 3-in-1 functionality, as it means sacrificing the polished look that other castle sets have, but overall this is a nice tribute to the castle theme.

9. Löwenstein Castle (BL19001)

LEGO Löwenstein Castle set

The Löwenstein Castle was one of 13 set ideas made available via the Bricklink AFOL Designer Program in 2019, each of which had a production run of 2,500 and were only to US consumers. In this set there are a little over 2,000 pieces, which makes it one of the largest castles on this list. There is extensive use of small pieces to create some amazing detailing and lots of visual variety. There is also clever use of brown and blue pieces in the castle walls to make them look more authentic.

From first glance the Löwenstein Castle looks like it's a mini-scale build, but it was in fact designed for minifigures to use. However, the interior is too small and most of the outside areas are a very tight squeeze for the three minifigures that are included. The proportions therefore are best described as midi-scale, and this in-between size dramatically limits the playability.

For a set to sit on your shelf, there aren't many better than this. The castle is undeniably beautiful and really showcases what is possible with LEGO bricks, as well as the huge talent in the AFOL community. If it wasn't for the cramped design, this castle would be near the top of our list.

8. Fire Breathing Fortress (6082)

LEGO Fire Breathing Fortress set

The Castle theme's first departure from traditional medieval kingdoms occurred in 1993 with the introduction of the Dragon Knights subtheme. This brought in an element of mythology thanks to the wizard Majisto and the classic green dragon.

Although this is the smallest castle on this list, it doesn't suffer from the same sparse, open air feel of other similarly sized builds. It looks at home on top of its baseplate and has a suitably fortified appearance. The build is easily navigable by a minifigure, with connecting stars to the top floor and plenty of space to move around. The dragon can also be easily taken in and out of its prison. The set has a lot of good play features, such as an excellent trap door, a hidden collapsible wall, and a giant stone-dropping dragon head beside the entrance. Many AFOLs may consider the dragon head too childish, but it can be easily replaced with a flagpole, if desired. The Fire Breathing Fortress also introduced some excellent new parts, such as the printed arches and wall panel, and red dome piece. The eccentrically designed Dragon Master minifigure is iconic, although we're of the opinion that the three-plumed helmet looks a little ridiculous.

This is a much underrated set which deserves its place amongst the classics.

7. Black Falcon's Fortress (6074)

LEGO Black Falcon's Fortress set

The Black Falcon's Fortress was released in 1986 and is one of the prettiest, if not the prettiest castle that LEGO have ever made. The yellow Tudor clad wall panel and pointed black roofs look so charming and quaint. This detail, and the lack of a jail, makes the fortress feel more like a home than a purely defensive structure. When you think of this set like that, you can forgive the only minor criticism, which is that the fortress lacks adornment. Only one solitary flag flies in the wind, while other castles of a similar age were decorated with several flags and shields.

Considering the small footprint of the fortress, the six Black Falcons, when arranged around the build, give it a bustling feel. While they were standard for the time, they still look good today. Whilst this is not the best play set, as a display model it's hard to beat and is a must have for any castle collector.

6. King's Castle (6080)

LEGO King's Castle set

This was the bigger brother of the 6073 Knight's Castle released in the same year and has been the inspiration of many future castle sets. In its time it would have been at the top of every child's Christmas list (and many adults too!) as it showcased the very best of what LEGO had to offer. Like the Knight's Castle, the beauty is in the clean lines and no-nonsense design. The sheer, slab-like walls contain subtle detailing which is just enough to keep the eye interested. They're also hinged to allow the castle to be opened up, which adds to the playability. The front tower looks particularly good with its shields, crossed lances, and portcullis. The overwhelming majority of the bricks are grey which gives the castle a very monochrome look. However, in this sense, it's one of the most realistic castles LEGO have produced.

The King's Castle has one of the best minifigure to piece ratios of all the castle sets, although there is some duplication, with the axemen and archers all being identical. You also got a staggering four horses - enough to start your own cavalry unit. Like other classic castles, it has stood the test of time well and there's very little to criticise it for.

5. Royal Knight's Castle (6090)

LEGO Royal Knight's Castle set

The Royal Knight's Castle was the flagship set of the Royal Knights subtheme, which ran from 1995 to 1998. It contains 764 pieces and is integrated into a large and very nice baseplate. The set inventory is made up of a number of interesting and rare pieces, such as the corner walls with windows, which make for an engaging building experience. The aesthetics of the design are beautiful and it has the perfect balance of colour. There is a nice entrance, some charming blue roof pieces, and the fabric flags with royal crest are the cherry on top. The castle also performs very well as a place piece, thanks to its expansive nature, many entrances, and various gimmicks. And like any castle worth its salt, it has an impenetrable air.

Minifigure wise, we get a very fine king who is equipped with a glistening sword and crown, lion printed robe, and sits atop a barded horse. Since LEGO halted the use of chrome-plated accessories over quality concerns, they have become extremely desirable, and rightly so, as they look fantastic. There is a good variety of soldiers, two horses, and no castle would be complete without a skeleton and glow-in-the-dark ghost.

In summary, the Royal Knight's Castle has one of the best combinations of playability and display potential for any set under the Castle theme.

4. Black Monarch's Castle (6085)

LEGO Black Monarch's Castle set

The Black Monarch's Castle bears a resemblance to the 6080 King's Castle, as both have a similar blueprint, tall entrance tower, and hinged walls. It was released four years later in 1988, and in that time certain design elements were refined. There is greater use of sloped pieces, which creates a variety of angles and gives the set much more visual interest. Other improvements include the addition of a prison door, which debuted in this set, and the imposing black colour scheme. Like the King's Castle, all the on-brick detail is achieved with printed wall panels, which are now extremely rare. This thankfully means there is a complete absence of stickers.

The set contained a generous offering of minifigures, with 12 in total and four horses, two of which come with barding. Like other early castles, there is some repetition across the minifigures, but all look great with their crested shields.

The build isn't perfect, as the upper floor is inaccessible for those minifigures lacking the power of flight, and the drawbridge mechanism is slow and always needs a helping hand. However, these points aside, it's a well-equipped and highly playable castle that looks fantastic from every angle.

3. Castle in the Forest (910001)

LEGO Castle in the Forest set

The Castle in the Forest made its way to consumers via the 2021 Bricklink Designer Program that gave rejected LEGO Ideas submissions a second chance to make it to production. The set depicts a castle that has been forgotten and gone abandoned for some time. To show this the stonework and roof tiles have a nice, distressed look.

The set pays homage to many of LEGO's past castle-themed sets, and has a Forestmen feel, which many people will love due to their high popularity. The build itself is very complex, makes use of many modern and unusual techniques, and is packed full of playability features. The level of detail surpasses that of any other castle set, with something interesting to look at everywhere you look. There is also a good variety of characters, each of which looks fantastic. The horse figure is the best LEGO have made and is the same as the one that appears in the Medieval Blacksmith.

With Castle in the Forest not being an official LEGO Ideas set, it means it did not go through the same rigorous quality control. As a result, the build is fragile in places and various parts are easily knocked off. However, this is the only criticism of what is a magnificent set that delights at every turn.

2. Black Knight's Castle (6086)

LEGO Black Knight's Castle set

The Black Knight's Castle came out in 1992 and was the pinnacle of the classic castle era. The design is simply fabulous. To start with, the castle has an impressive, fortified look and is seamlessly integrated into the green baseplate. The mix of black and grey bricks is very well balanced, while the lovely red slanted roofs and yellow Tudor-style wall panels add some nice contrast. Like the Black Falcon's Fortress, the use of the yellow walls and angled roof create a homely and multi-purpose feel. Everything is topped off with a superb dragon crested flag. Besides looking fantastic, the castle also offers all the play features you need, such as a well-executed drawbridge and portcullis, ghost tower, hidden entrance, and underground prison.

The set also has a wonderful cast of minifigures including four proudly adored knights on horseback, five more knights to guard the interior, a Wolfpack warrior, and an iconic glow-in-the-dark ghost.

LEGO perfected the classic castle build with the Black Knight's Castle. It's a truly legendary set which we cannot fault.

1. Lion Knights' Castle (10305)

LEGO Lion Knights' Castle set

The Lion Knight's Castle was released as one of LEGO's 90th Anniversary sets, which pay homage to the classic themes of yesteryear. This set marked a glorious return to the Castle theme and was better than most medieval LEGO enthusiasts could have dared wish for. The spectacular nature of this build is in part due to its size, as it's the largest castle on this list by far, coming in at a hefty 4,514 pieces.

The design itself is just as impressive as its scale. It makes use some fascinating building techniques to create all the angles and curves, while still managing to retain an air of the classic castles, which is befitting of an anniversary set. There is also a great level of historical accuracy, with the thin, slitted windows being just one of the many realistic features. Beside looking formidable, the castle also appears seamlessly integrated with its environment, thanks to some very nice rock work and foliage. Other external elements have been executed just as well, such as the drawbridge, portcullis, and hidden entrances.

The interior also looks incredible, with wonderful detail on every surface. On the inside you get everything including the kitchen sink, as there is a plethora of different rooms. There is a well-stocked armoury, prison, small stable, kitchen, wizard workshop, and royal chambers to name but a few. You even get a toilet complete with loo paper!

The set contains 22 minifigures, the most of any castle set. This includes a Queen, some Lion Knights and Black Falcons, three Forestmen, various villagers, a wizard, and a skeleton. Two horses, a cow, and a calf are also thrown in. This superb variety means you can recreate any medieval scene you want throughout the caste and its grounds. The Queen is obviously the headline minifigure, with her ornate printing and royal-looking gold visored helmet. She also has a fantastic, printed cloak, which is partly transparent and adds another dimension. Its also nice to see a good representation of women amongst the knights and Forestmen.

The only minor criticism is the entrance ramp, which is far too steep for any horse to willingly want to walk down, and the few studs it has available to fix minifigures to. If it wasn't for this slight gripe this would be a flawless set in our opinion.

Posted by Graham on 25th July 2022

Graham is a passionate LEGO collector, who has a penchant for the Castle, Pirates, and Western themes. You can usually find him monitoring the latest developments and giving his opinion on what's hot and not in the LEGO world.


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