Castle was one of the first three LEGOLAND themes (along side Town and Space). Castle began in 1978. The first set in the original theme was the European release of the Yellow Castle. There was was an earlier Weetabix promotional castle which was not system-scale as the minifigure had never before appeared in sets..
The realm of Castle was expanded by the introduction of subthemes based on new factions of which the first four also relate to LEGOLAND Castle:
- Classic Castle 1978-1983
- Black Falcons 1984-1990, 2002: named for the falcon design on the shields and livery.
- Crusaders (aka Lion Knights) 1984-1992, 2001: a group of knights that are based on crusaders. Travel is a big theme in these sets. The majority of the sets are soldiers traveling, usually by horse-drawn carriage but also by boat. The Lion Knights usually wore a yellow and blue device with a lion, but sometimes, they wore a device with crossed axes.
- Forestmen 1987-1990: modeled after Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men with woodland structures, bow, arrows and feathered caps.
- Black Knights 1987-1993
- Wolfpack 1992-1993: bandits (only three sets).
- Dragon Masters 1993-1998: bad guys with dragons and a wizard.
- Royal Knights 1995-1998
- Dark Forest 1996: successors to Forestmen (only three sets)
- Fright Knights 1997-1998
- Knights' Kingdom 2000 (aka KKI): includes a background story for the fictional Kingdom of Morcia.
- Knights' Kingdom 2004-2006 (aka KKII): includes stories for four knights, large action figures, and oddly colored of armor (e.g. purple). Sometmes called the "jellybeans".
- Castle (Fantasy Era) 2007-2009: also sometimes called Fantasy Castle or the Fantasy Era it features such creatures as dwarves, orcs and living skeletons as factions.
- Kingdoms is the most recent subtheme and continues to use the Crown Knights introduced in the Fantasy Era sets.
(Note: The above divisions and dates are based on Lugnet's set guide. Some subthemes are hard to classify as they are defined by the minifigs included in the sets, and some sets include figs from more than one sub-theme.)
While not part of the Castle theme the following did contain some castle parts and medieval (or earlier) themed sets.
- Adventurers (some sub-themes)
- Amazon especially Amazon Ancient Ruins (5986)
- Dino Island especially Dino Research Compound (5987)
- Orient Expedition especially Dragon Fortress (7419), Scorpion Palace (7418) and Temple of Mount Everest (7417)
- Harry Potter
Some non-system-scale themes are also related to Castle:
Set and minifig guides
There are tons and tons of amazing sites. These in no way represent the breadth of Castle builders. We have just chosen a few to get the ball rolling. Please feel free to add more.