Castles in the Lake District

Jo Spencer - Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The Lake District has its fair share of historical buildings. If castles are your ‘thing’, then there are plenty in Cumbria to keep you happy! From the ruins of Kendal castle, to the supposed hauntings at Muncaster, we select a few of our favourites!

Muncaster Castle:

Muncaster Castle is a stately home on the very edge of the Lake District National Park, in Ravenglass. The castle was built in the 14th century, but much of the building we see today is a result of rebuilding in the 18th and 19th centuries. The interiors are grand, whilst retaining a 'homey' feel. The castle is open during the season, with a maze and hawk & owl centre. You can stay in the castle itself, although you would have to be brave. Muncaster has the reputation of being one of the most haunted castles in Britain!
For further information, visit

Kendal Castle:

Kendal Castle dates from the late 12th Century. Its ruins overlook the River Kent, with two towers and stretches of the curtain wall remaining. There is an exhibition at Kendal museum about the castle, its people, and the life of the town. There are displays showing medieval objects, reconstructions of the castle, computer displays and various activities such as coin rubbing. Originally the home of the barons of Kendal, the Parr family is the best known of the baronial families, its most famous member being Katherine Parr, the sixth and last Queen of Henry VIII.

Appleby Castle:

Appleby Castle is located in the heart of the Eden Valley, nestling alongside the River Eden. This spectacular motte and bailey castle has been held by the Kings of England and Scotland and boasts one of the few remaining intact Norman keeps. In the 17th century, the castle was the preferred residence of Lady Anne Clifford. Today, the castle can be hired for private functions, hosts a number of summer events and you can even stay in a four poster bed! For further information, visit

Dalton Castle:

Dalton castle is a medieval peel tower, or fortified tower, built at the upper end of Dalton-in -Furness High Street. It was constructed by the Abbot of the powerful Furness Abbey in the early 14th century following a devastating raid by Robert the Bruce and his Scots. The castle features displays about medieval armour, local history, Furness Abbey, and artist George Romney.
The building would have contained a courtroom, a gaol, guardrooms and stores. After the dissolution of the abbey in 1537, the castle continued as a courthouse for more than 300 years, owned at first by the Crown and then by the Dukes of Albermarle, the Dukes of Montagu, and finally the Dukes of Buccleuch.


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