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Historic England Research Records

Bew Castle

Hob Uid: 12974
Location :
Cumbria
Carlisle
Bewcastle
Grid Ref : NY5656074680
Summary : The castle is traditionally thought to have been constructed between 1296-1307. It was strategically situated within the north-east corner of the Roman fort (NY 57 SE 15); lengths of the fort's north and east ditches were widened and deepened and cross ditches cut so as to form a moat. A shell keep was built, inside it other buildings were constructed around a courtyard; a gatehouse was added in the 15th century. It decayed and was rebuilt during the 15th and 16th century and was taken down in 1641. Only the south and east walls now survive.
More information : (NY 5656 7468) Bew Castle (GT) (Remains of) (1)

A moated shell-keep 91' square, with rampart and battlements, best preserved on the south. There are remains of a gate-house against the west wall. Much Roman material used. No documentary references occur before 1401. Hall thinks it was built in the 12th c, and Curwen points out that it was evidently considerably remodelled in the 16thc. Scheduled. (2-4)

As previously described, see photograph.
The moat, now dry, averages 16.0m in width and has a maximum depth of 2.5m. Published survey (25") revised. (5)

NY 5656 7468. Ruins of Bew Castle and remains of small square moat. From the SE corner run several earthwork banks, probably agricultural. (6)

The remains of Bew Castle, centred at NY 5656 7468, were surveyed by RCHME in 1984-5 at 1:1000. The remains, consisting of a square shell keep in ruins within a dry moat, up to 2.2m deep, are situated in the N angle of the Roman fort. It is first mentioned in 1378 and was garrisoned until the early 17th century (7a). Full survey information including a report is included in the NMR archive. (7)

The results of the RCHME survey have been published. (8)

Bew Castle is traditionally thought to have been constructed between 1296-1307. It was strategically situated within the north-east corner of the Roman fort (NY 57 SE 15); lengths of the fort's north and east ditches were widened and deepened and cross ditches cut so as to form a moat. A shell keep was built, inside it other buildings were constructed around a courtyard; a gatehouse was added in the 15th century. It decayed and was rebuilt during the 15th and 16th century and was taken down in 1641. Only the south and east walls now survive. (9)

Listed with plan and photographs. (10)

The ruinous castle came into royal hands from Richard III, who had acquired the castle in 1478. it was brought up to defensive readiness and garrisoned. By 1527 it was again ruinous, and although repaired to some degree in 1533, only ditching work and the construction of a barbican were attempted. By 1565 the barmkin wall was entirely ruinous, and no further expenditure was authorised. (11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1957
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Source Number : 2
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details : (J F Curwen)
Page(s) : 186-92
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Vol(s) : 22, 1922
Source Number : 9
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 24-Oct-97
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Source Number : 10
Source : The medieval fortified buildings of Cumbria : an illustrated gazetteer and research guide
Source details :
Page(s) : 46-7
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Vol(s) : vol.29
Source Number : 11
Source : The history of the King's Works, volume 3 : 1485-1660 (part 1)
Source details :
Page(s) : 233-4
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Source : Bewcastle
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Source : Bewcastle/published text
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Source : Bewcastle/publication drawing
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Source : Bewcastle/ink survey
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Source Number : 3
Source : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
Source details : (A H Hall)
Page(s) : 306
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Vol(s) : 1, 1954-5
Source Number : 4
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : Ancient Monuments England and Wales 1965 (MOW)
Page(s) : 32
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHP 13-JUL-72
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Source Number : 6
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Cumbria and Lancashire Archaeol Unit NY 57 SE plan (G E Lee)
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Source Number : 6a
Source : Aerial photograph
Source details : (DH 86 1-5 held by Durham Univ CUC W88 held by Cumbr & Lancs Arch Unit;CUC T55 held by Durham Univ and Newcastle Univ;CUC W 87-8,held by Newcastle Univ)
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Source Number : 7
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Iain Sainsbury and Humphrey Welfare/NOV-1984/RCHME: Bewcastle Survey
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Source Number : 7a
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 82, 98
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Source Number : 8
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details : (Sainsbury IS and Welfare HG) The Roman Fort at Bewcastle: An Analytical Field Survey
Page(s) : 139-46
Figs. :
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Vol(s) : 90, 1990

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built 1296 to 1307
Monument End Date : 1307
Monument Start Date : 1296
Monument Type : Castle, Moat
Evidence : Ruined Building, Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : 14th to 15th century
Monument End Date : 1499
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Castle, Shell Keep, Gatehouse
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : xtant 1542-1565
Monument End Date : 1565
Monument Start Date : 1542
Monument Type : Great Hall, Kitchen, Barbican, Barmkin
Evidence : Ruined Building, Structure
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : taken down in 1641
Monument End Date : 1641
Monument Start Date : 1641
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 27753
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CU 329
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 8322
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 57 SE 4
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 13013
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NY 57 SE 4
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-07-13
End Date : 1972-07-13
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: BEWCASTLE SURVEY
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1984-11-01
End Date : 1985-01-01
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT BEW CASTLE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND ADJACENT TO ST. CUTHBERT'S CHURCH
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2011-01-01
End Date : 2011-12-31