Rose Castle

(See also Raughton Head)

The castle is not open to the public.

‘all but perfect - cottage comfort and ancestral dignity’
Wordsworths comment on Rose castle

Rose Castle by Alexander P KappRose castle was the palace of the bishops of Carlisle until autumn 2009. It sits on the site of a former motte and bailey castle that was seized in 1186 by Henry II. Edward I and Queen Eleanor occupied the castle in 1300. The Scottish border raiders burned it in 1314 and again in 1322 and 1337. Many of the additions of the 1300s no longer exist.

Later work added an inner court with ranges on all sides, towers, an outer gate, stables, a barn and latrines in outer walls. During the civil war in 1648, Cromwells troops captured, then slighted the castle and wrecked most of the rooms.

Rose Castle gateway by Douglas GemmelThe castle was eventually returned to the bishops who tore down the damaged east range with its great hall and kitchens as well as the south range and its long gallery. In the 1660s the west range was remodelled. A century later further construction turned the castle into a pleasant mansion.
Bishop Percy (1826-56) instituted much remodeling. Thomas Rickman, an expert on Gothic architecture, was in charge of restoration and construction from 1829-31, and further work was continued under the direction of Anthony Salvin in 1852.
Bishop Percy also had the terraces landscaped by horticulturist Sir Joseph Paxton.

Rose Castle road by Douglas GemmelParts of the thick mantle wall of the 15th century are still visible. The north corner is the site of the Strickland tower of the late 1200s. Inside is a vaulted basement with two rooms above, one a former chapel. The front door of the castle contains one of Lady Anne Cliffords locks, which she gave to the bishop in 1673.

Rose Castle is located just off the B5299 road near Raughton Head. It is not open to the public but can be viewed from the nearby road or the public footpath from Rosebank to Raughton Head.

Photos courtesy Alexander P Kapp , Douglas Gemmell.

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