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Historic England Research Records

Pendragon Castle

Hob Uid: 14759
Location :
Cumbria
Eden
Mallerstang
Grid Ref : NY7817002640
Summary : The standing remains of a late 12th century fortified tower house or pele tower. It probably received its licence to crenellate in 1309 and later alterations and additions may date to this period. It was extensively restored in 1660 for Lady Anne Clifford, however the building was dismantled in about 1685. The tower is now in poor condition with walls 2.5 metres thick and eight metres high. It is 20 metres square. Surviving earthworks consist of a deep ditch enclosing the site on the side away from the river and with the steep scarp towards the river, forming a roughly circular enclosure.
More information : (NY 7817 0264) Pendragon Castle (NR) (Remains of) (NAT) (1)

Late 12th c pele tower, burnt and restored on two occasions the last restoration being in 1660 by Lady Anne Clifford, who added an enclosing wall and other buildings. These have disappeared and the tower was dismantled c.1685. The earthworks consist of a deep ditch enclosing the site on the side away from the river and, with the steep scarp towards the river, forming a roughly circular enclosure.

Two causeways cross the ditch, that on the NW being probably the original entrance. Foundation mounds to the NW of the ditch. "The tower...is now hardly anywhere standing above the second storey and...fallen masonry...obscures many of the still existing features". (2)

The pele 20.0m square, is in poor condition, its 2.5m thick walls reaching a maximum height of approximately 8.0m. (See photograph). Earthworks are as described by the Commission with the well defined ditch averaging 3.0m in depth. There are no coherent remains of foundations to the north west of the ditch. Published survey (25") revised. (3)

Pendragon Castle (NY 7817 0264) which is situated on a spur overlooking the River Eden, was surveyed by RCHME in 1993. The tower is north-facing and has a later garderobe tower projecting from its south-west angle. The interior of the tower is choked with debris and there are heaps of turf-covered rubble all around the exterior; despite this a number of the tower's intra-mural vaulted chambers are well preserved.

The ditch surrounding the tower encloses an area about 54m in diameter; the tower is situated slightly to west of centre within this. At its widest points the ditch is between 14.5m - 18m and its internal scarp has a maximum depth of 4.8m. The narrow north-west causeway leads to a range of 17th century buildings suggesting that this was a secondary entrance and not the original as authority 2 prefers.

A painting by Buck (1736) shows that the foundation mounds to the north-west of the ditch are the remains of the ancillary buildings erected by Anne Clifford in 1660 as part of the restoration of the castle (4a, b). The remains consist of a linear range of buildings on the river bank within which at least 5 separate rooms can be identified. The overall dimensions of the block are 57m by 8.5m; it is partly overlain by a post medieval field barn and the west wall has been re-used and subsequently rebuilt as a field wall.

To the north of the castle, built into the natural slope, is a possible corn-drying kiln. The circular hollow measures 5.3m internally and is a maximum of 1.3m deep. The top of the kiln is surrounded by a small bank of upcast up to 1.8m wide and there is an opening at the front 1.1m wide.

About 100m north-east of the tower is a low-lying patch of ground which may have been landscaped to form a pond. On the west side of the Eden is a possible prospect mound overlooking the tower (NMR No NY 70 SE 80). It seems likely that both these features are related to Anne Clifford's occupancy of the castle.

Full details are contained in the NMR archive. (4)

Pendragon Castle A fortified tower-house dating from the 12th century with later additions and alterations; extensively restored in 1660 for Lady Anne Clifford. Dismantled in c1685. Grade 1. (5)

Listed by Cathcart King. (6)

Listed with plan and illustrations. (7)

Pendragon castle probably received a licence to crenellate in 1309 and parts of the masonry work may date from this time. The Licence to Crenellate is not enrolled in the state rolls but in the Calendar of Chancery Warrents 1244-1326 p. 291. It records that Robert Clifford, briefly Marshall of England, may crenellate his castles of Brouham and Pendragon in C. Westmorland. (8)

Please see the Pendragon Survey for more information. (9-11)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1957
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Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of the historical monuments in Westmorland
Source details :
Page(s) : 163-4
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Source Number : 9
Source : Pendragon Castle/ink survey
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Source Number : 10
Source : Pendragon Castle/pencil survey
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Source Number : 11
Source : Pendragon Castle/report
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Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : BH Pritchard/11-MAR-74/OS Archaeology Division Field Investigator
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Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Amy Lax/01-DEC-1993/RCHME: Howgill Fells Project Phase 2
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Source Number : 4a
Source : Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
Source details :
Page(s) : 260-5
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Vol(s) : 1908
Source Number : 4b
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Williamson, G C, 1967. Lady Anne Clifford. Titus Wilson. Kendal.
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Source Number : 5
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Eden, 12-09-1957
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Vol(s) : 156
Source Number : 6
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume II : Norfolk-Yorkshire and the islands
Source details :
Page(s) : 493
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Plates :
Vol(s) : Feb-83
Source Number : 7
Source : The medieval fortified buildings of Cumbria : an illustrated gazetteer and research guide
Source details :
Page(s) : 300-1
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Vol(s) : vol.29
Source Number : 8
Source : Oral information, correspondence (not archived) or staff comments
Source details : PastScape feedback, 19-AUG-2009
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built late C12
Monument End Date : 1199
Monument Start Date : 1167
Monument Type : Tower House, Pele Tower
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Altered 14th C
Monument End Date : 1400
Monument Start Date : 1301
Monument Type : Tower House, Pele Tower
Evidence : Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Restored 1660
Monument End Date : 1660
Monument Start Date : 1660
Monument Type : Tower House
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Demolished Building, Ruined Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Dismantled c1685
Monument End Date : 1695
Monument Start Date : 1675
Monument Type : Tower House, Pele Tower
Evidence : Documentary Evidence, Demolished Building, Ruined Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CU 357
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 8645
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 73359
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 70 SE 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 1030637
Relationship type : Is referred to by
Associated Monuments : 11999
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NY 70 SE 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1974-03-11
End Date : 1974-03-11
Associated Activities : Primary, RCHME: HOWGILL FELLS PROJECT PHASE 2
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1993-06-07
End Date : 1994-01-27