Castles in Cumbria

Cumbria's castle (castle being defined as a defensible privately owned habitation) building began with the Norman invasion. When Rufus, son of William the Conqueror, invaded Cumbria in 1092, he parceled out the land to the barons. They deemed it necessary to build castles to hold onto their grants, establish a place of residence, and show off their importance.

Appleby Castle
Askerton Castle Bew Castle
Brough Castle Brougham Castle
Carlisle Castle Dalton Castle
Drumburgh Castle Egremont Castle
Gleaston Castle Greystoke Castle
Kendal Castle Kirkoswald Castle
Lammerside Castle Lowther Castle
Muncaster Castle Naworth Castle
Pendragon Castle Penrith Castle
Piel Island Castle Rose Castle
Scaleby Castle Sizergh Castle
Whitehaven Castle

The first castles built in Cumbria were located at Bewcastle, Brough, Carlisle, and Liddel. Close on their heels castles followed at Beaumont, Burgh-by-Sands, and Maryport. These early castles were wood towers with earth fortifications of ringwork and/or ditches.

Cumbria became Scottish property in 1136 and then reverted to the English in 1157. Castles started to be built of stone after this period. Earliest stone keeps were located at Appleby, Brough, Brougham, and Carlisle. The 14th century saw numerous building projects that included further construction at Brough, Brougham, and Carlisle and castles and tower houses being constructed at Arnside, Cockermouth, Dacre, Dalton, Durumburgh, Gleaston, Greystoke, Hartley, Highhead, Kendal, Kirkoswald, Millom, Muncaster, Naworth, Pendragon, Penrith, Rose, Scaleby, Sizergh, Triermain, and Workington.

Many castles fell into decay after the 15th and 16th centuries, and the civil war contributed it's share to their demise. However, tower houses as such generally remained as residences, and many are still occupied today.

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