Gleaston Castle

(See also Gleaston , Gleaston Watermill)

Gleaston Castle and farm house by Graeme DougalGleaston castle was started c1325 by John de Harrington as protection against Scottish raids. However, it was never finished and left to its own devices after 1458 when owner Sir William Harrington died. It then came into the ownership of the Grey family (of Lady Jane Grey fame) who left it to its own. By 1540 it was a ruin.

Gleaston Castle view by Graeme DougalLater the 3rd marquis of Dorset purchased the castle and land and one of the southern towers were renovated to live in. It was a dwelling during the 17th century, but by the 1800s it was again ruined. It was purchased in 1920 by a farmer. Little remains today except for the ruins of three towers and some perimeter wall.

Gleaston Castle view by Graeme DougalThe castle, built of limestone with sandstone features, had a curtain wall and a quadrangular courtyard. In the north-west corner was the largest tower. The castle probably had a hall and chambers, a cellar, and store rooms. The southern towers have survived best. The south-west one was the site of a basement prison, three rooms and a fireplace. It housed the officers and constables of the castle. The south-east tower had two storeys; the lower room had two windows and a fireplace while the upper room had four windows and a fireplace. The windows are similar to those of Irelands tower houses.

Gleaston Castle distant view by Graeme DougalEssential Information
The scant ruins of the castle are on private farm land three miles east of Barrow-in-Furness at the village of Gleaston. They can be viewed from the minor road leading from Gleaston to Scales off the A5087.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal

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