Aspatria Castle

Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Other/Unknown)

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameAspatria Castle
Alternative NamesCastlemont; Castlesteads; Hall Banks
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishAspatria

No information can be obtained respecting this site, and there are no indications on the ground of any building having stood either here or in the immediate vicinity. Tradition states that Gospatric built a castle near Aspatria and the fact of the field being called 'Castlesteads' or 'Hillsteads' make it highly probable that the Castle stood here. (ONB Revn.1923 8)

NY135415. Aspatria Castle: The castle overlies an earlier settlement of possibly Iron Age/Romano-British date. (Higham and Jones)

A curvilinear enclosure of possible Prehistoric or Roman date was seen as a cropmark at NY 1346 4154 and mapped from air photographs. The enclosure has dimensions of 71 m by 44 m. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Reputed site of castle founded in C11 by Earl Gospatrick, based on a field name 'Castlesteads'. Labelled as 'Aspatria Castle Supposed Site of' on C19 OS maps. Alleged to overlie the possible site of an Iron Age and Romano British settlement site. There is no archaeological evidence to support these interpretations. Jackson writes 'Some vague earthworks.' The location is a little outside the village but on the main road. There are suggestions in the field pattern that there is some village shrinkage on the west side, which would put the site in a feasible position for a manorial centre (with the church at the other end of the village). This is a site with some vague historical evidence, a local tradition and place-names, and a feasible location for a medieval manorial centre. However, there is no archaeological evidence of anything here, and, whilst the site has been ploughed, there is nothing to suggest intense agriculture or other activity and this site was without noticeable features before it was mapped in the 1880's. This suggests that even if this was the site of a C11 manor house this was not one fortified with significant earthwork ditches.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY134415
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  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 6
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 31
  • Sanders, I.J., 1960, English Baronies. A study of their origin and descent 1086-1327 p. 134


  • Higham, N., and Jones, G., 1975, 'Frontiers Forts and Farmers' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 132 p. 31