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Historic England Research Records

Wolsty Castle

Hob Uid: 9669
Location :
Cumbria
Allerdale
Holme Low
Grid Ref : NY1048050590
Summary : The castle was constructed during the first half of the 14th century to defend Holme Cultrum Abbey and was ruinous by 1572. Repair work was carried out in the 1630s, but by the latter half of the 17th century the castle had been demolished. There are earthwork remains of a dry moat and traces on the island of building foundations and robber trenches. There are are two upstanding blocks of masonry showing that the castle's walls were over 2m thick. Scheduled.
More information : (NY 10485059) Wolsty Castle (NR) (Remains of) [NAT] (1)

Wolsty Castle was built to protect the Abbey of Holm Cultram from attack by the Scots. Attacks in 1216 and 1322 are quoted but no date of construction is given. The castle had permit to crenellate in 1348. It presumably surrendered in March 1537 as part of the Abbey possessions. The castle appears to have been in ruins in the 15th century, and in 1663 the building material was taken to Carlisle. All that now remains is a wide and deep moat, surrounding an area 65 x 60 yards. A large block of masonry lying on the northern side shows that the curtain wall was at least seven feet thick. A gap in the foundations on the western side may mark the entrance. (2-3)

A medieval chapel mentioned in the manor rolls as being at Wolsty, was probably situated in the castle, although a comprehensive survey of the castle of 1572 fails to mention it. (4)

Resurveyed at 1:2500. (5)

(NY 10485059) Wolsty Castle NR) (site of) (NAT) (6)

NY 104506. Wolsty Castle, scheduled. (7)

Wolsty castle was constructed during the first half of the 14th century to defend Holme Cultrum Abbey and was ruinous by 1572. Repair work was carried out in the 1630s, but by the latter half of the 17th century the castle had been demolished. There are earthwork remains of a dry moat and traces on the island of building foundations and robber trenches. There are are two upstanding blocks of masonry showing that the castle's walls were over 2m thick. (8)

Demolition date of 1652 given by Cathcart King. (9)

Documentary evidence records the castle as consisting of a tower, curtain walls, gatehouse, hall, courtyard ranges and a moat. (10)

The site of the castle and moat was seen and mapped from air photographs. (11-12)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1957
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details :
Page(s) : 35-40
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 11, 1911
Source Number : 11
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NMR NY 1050/36 (12918/51) 12-AUG-1996
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 12
Source : Oblique aerial photograph reference number
Source details : NY1050/10 GBJ 13486/21 01-Jan-1975
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society extra series
Source details : (JF Curwen)
Page(s) : 241-3
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 13, 1913
Source Number : 4
Source : Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society
Source details : (F Grainger)
Page(s) : 344
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 2, 1902
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHP 22-NOV-68
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:10 000 1972
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : List of ancient monuments in England: Volume 1, Northern England; Volume 2, Southern England; Volume 3, East Anglia and the Midlands
Source details : DOE (IAM) Ancient Monuments England 1 1978
Page(s) : 18
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : Scheduled Monument Notification
Source details : 31-Aug-95
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 9
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 91
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : Jan-83
Source Number : 10
Source : The medieval fortified buildings of Cumbria : an illustrated gazetteer and research guide
Source details :
Page(s) : 28
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : vol.29

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date :
Monument End Date : 1349
Monument Start Date : 1300
Monument Type : Castle, Moat
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : ruinous
Monument End Date :
Monument Start Date : 1572
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Earthwork, Demolished Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : repaired
Monument End Date : 1639
Monument Start Date : 1630
Monument Type : Castle
Evidence : Earthwork
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : demolished
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1650
Monument Type : Castle, Curtain Wall, Great Hall, Keep, Gatehouse, Moat
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (National No.)
External Cross Reference Number : 27666
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CU 348
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CU 77
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Cumbria)
External Cross Reference Number : 366
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 15 SW 5
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NY 15 SW 5
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1968-11-22
End Date : 1968-11-22
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE: HADRIAN'S WALL WHS MAPPING PROJECT, NMP
Activity type : AERIAL PHOTOGRAPH INTERPRETATION
Start Date : 2002-01-01
End Date : 2008-12-31