Kirkoswald Castle

(See also Kirkoswald)

Kirkoswald Castle by Graeme DougalIn the village of Kirkoswald is a double ditched enclosure within which are another ditch and a platform. A wooden tower stood here as early as the mid 12th century. It was owned by Simon de Morville and was crenellated in 1202. It passed to other owners and was enlarged. However, during a Scottish border raid in 1314, the castle was burned.

It then fell into the hands of Lord Dacre in 1317 through nefarious means when he kidnapped and married Margaret de Multon, the heiress to the castle. A number of alterations and additions occurred over the ensuing two centuries, including the construction of a moat.

Kirkoswald Castle courtesy of Graeme DougalIn the 1569 rebellion the Dacres lost possession of the castle. In the 17th century the site was plundered for building material by the owner of Naworth. Naworth's tower still retains the elaborate timber ceiling from Kirkoswald.

Kirkoswald was allowed to decay, and in 1715 it was again stripped for building material. The remains show that the castle was approximately 150 feet square with walls 8 feet thick. Remnants of vaulted cellars are now filled with debris. Only scattered bits and pieces of stone and the partial remains of a tower remind us that a castle once sat here in all its glory.

Kirkoswald Castle is located in Kirkoswald on the B6413.
View from nearby footpath.

Photos courtesy of Graeme Dougal

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