Coupland Bridge 1

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Possible Pele Tower

There are earthwork remains

NameCoupland Bridge 1
Alternative NamesWarcop; Copeland
Historic CountryWestmorland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishMurton

On the right-hand side of the road going towards Appleby, near Couplandbeck bridge was a "round fortification", internal diameter 40 paces, with walls about 10 yards thick. The stones, red in colour, were strongly cemented with lime and sand. (PastScape ref. Nicolson and Burn)

A small distance from Coupland Beck bridge, there was, in ancient times, a round tower, or castle, the diameter of which, within the walls, was forty places, "and the thickness of the walls including rubbish, was ten yards." Opposite to this fortification was an hospital, founded probably by one of the Veteriponts, the ancient-lords of the great barony of Westmorland. (Mannix and co 1851)

Mound (called Roman Fortress on O.S.) on the N. side of the Appleby-Brough road, W. of Hilton beck, has been formed by cutting a slight ditch on a natural spur and steepening the scarps. The work forms an oval, about 60 ft. by 40 ft., with a rampart carried round, except on the S. side. (RCHME 1936)

Earthwork remains of an oval mound measuring 60ft by 40ft. Masonry was visible on the site in C18. It is possibly a motte. Scheduled as an earthwork. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Harvey calls this a peel, otherwise the site is described as a possible ringwork. The location, on a crossing of Coupland Beck by the Roman road, is strategic, but this close to the major castle at Appleby the strategic value may have been for tax gathering rather than military. There is confusion in some references between this site and Coupland Bridge 2.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY709189
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Photo by Matthew Emmott All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Photo by Matthew Emmott All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image

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  • Sowerby, R., 1950 (2edn), Historic Kirkby Stephen and North Westmorland p. 60
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • RCHME, 1936, An inventory of the historical monuments in Westmorland (HMSO) p. 179 no. 9 online transcription
  • Mannix and Co., 1851, History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland (Beverley) p. 194-5 online copy
  • Nicolson, J. and Burn, R., 1777, History and Antiquites of Cumberland and Westmorland Vol. 1 p. 610 online copy


  • Ewbank, J.M. (ed), 1963, Antiquary on Horseback: The first publication of the collections of the Rev. Thos. Machell (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 19)