Penrith Castle, Cumbria
~ History ~
1380's ~ A Pele tower is bult at Penrith upon a small hillock to guard against Scottish raids by the powerful Neville family.
1400's ~ Penrith Castle is upgraded by Ralph Neville, Earl of Westmorland. He enhances the existing Pele Tower into a castle by enclosing the courtyard with a substantial curtain wall and adding additional Towers. Further improvements are made by his son Richard, Earl of Salisbury who replaces some of the early timbers buildings with new stone constructions.
Penrith Castle remains with the Neville family, owned by Richard Neville, Kingmaker, Earl of Warwick, who is instrumental in helping the Yorkist Edward IV seize the throne.
1471 ~ Richard Neville rebells against King Edward, joining the Lancastrian's and is killed at the Battle of Barnet. His properties, including Penrith, pass into the hands of Richard, Duke of Gloucester and later King Richard III. Further alterations to Penrith Castle are made, making it a suitable residence for someone of his status who periodically stayed there.
1483 ~ Richard Duke of Glouste succeedes his brother to the throne as King Richard III. Penrith Castle becomes a Royal property.
1485 ~ Following the death of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, it is never again used as a Royal residence. A report later described the castle as ruinous.
1648 ~ Penrith Castle is used as a headquarters by the Parliamentarian Commander General John Lambert. Thereafter it is allowed to drift into ruin.
Castle Park, Penrith
A592, off M6 (A66)
Penrith Castle was once a Royal Castle of King Richard III. Today the ruin is in a very poor state of disrepair with limted interest situated next to a busy road in an open park.
We found the most interesting aspect of the castle is its glorious red sandstone which in its day must have looked every inch a Royal Palace of some magnificence.
Access to the caste is very easy, which parking just across the busy road.