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British comedian Eddie Izzard once joked that all Americans think British people live in castles. That's not an unfair assessment. With its stately manors, foggy moors, and the fact that its royal family owns more than 1.4% of the country, England seems like a storybook land from a long distant era. Is it that much of a leap to imagine British folks are still practicing chivalry and luxuriating in fortified keeps?

The funny thing is, there are a surprising number of historic castles still in use today. These medieval castles are not only still standing, they remain private residences (at least in part) to families that can trace their lineage back through the centuries. One of them even ranks among the most beautiful castles in Europe.

If you ever wondered, "Are castles still used today? Like, as a house?" - check out the fantastic estates below.

Arundel Castle, England

Construction on Arundel Castle began in 1068, at the order of William the Conqueror. Today, it is more than 950 years old, and "one of the largest inhabited and complete castles in England." The castle, open to the public, is the principal seat of the Dukes of Norfolk.

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