Dunwalloght Castle

Has been described as a Possible Masonry Castle

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameDunwalloght Castle
Alternative NamesThornhill; Thorn Hill
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishCumrew

There are no visible remains of Dunwalloght Castle. A building was probably sited on the steading at NY 55815021 where two contiguous enclosures, barely traceable as slight stone-studded banks, resemble the 1908 plan. Adjacent, and set at angle of 35 to the former are two further enclosures of roughly the same proportions formed by turf-covered building foundations approximately 1m wide and 0.5m high (see survey). The disparity in condition between the two complexes, however, suggests that they are not contemporary. The whole occupies an elevated position on slightly undulating ground. The only apparent 'earthworks' are an artificial scarp 1.3m high with an accompanying berm 6m wide separating the building area from natural slopes in the NE; and the vague impression of a ditch continued along the SE side. There is no evidence of a 'moat' in the SW where it was noted by Hutchison, and the site is contained on the NW by a small natural ridge. (PastScape–ref Field Investigators Comments F1 RE 04-JUL-72)

Gatehouse Comments

Perriam & Robinson don't give much information. Isolated position on mountain side but with view overlooking Eden valley. Date uncertain, could be post medieval. Jackson rejects as settlement site. From Mannix & Whellan 'In a field near the church may be seen the outline of an extensive quadrangle, and when Hutchinson wrote, there was, what he conceived, indications of a large edifice having occupied the spot. These have been conjectured to be the remains of Dunwalloght castle, but there is not the least evidence in support of this assumption; and when two small mounds were removed in 1832, not a single trace of masonry or foundation was found. The Dacres formerly possessed two small estates here, which were sold to Sir Christopher Musgrave; and Dugdale, in his Baronage, tells us that they had a castle called Dunwalloght, situated near the borders; but beyond this allusion nothing is known, either of its history or its site.' see also Dunmalloght Gatehouse favours this as the site of the licence to crenellate Dunmalloght granted to William Dacre in 1307, as here there are some remains and the Dacre's are known to have had land near Cumrew. This land outside their main holdings in the Lake District at Dacre might have been newly acquired in 1307 and the prestige of a Licence to Crenellate been of more value in this area in establishing the kudos of the Dacre family. It is also arguable that a small force of troops here (as paid for in 1317 after the war with Scotland had restarted) at a position overlooking the main routs along the Eden valley make more strategic sense than locating such a force south of Penrith in the economically insignificant Lakes

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY558502
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  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 147, 185 (they reject this as the historic site)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 98
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 92, 100n84
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 312 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 405 online copy
  • Mannix and Whellan, 1847, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland (Beverley) p. 601 online copy
  • Hutchinson, Wm., 1794, The history of the county of Cumberland Vol. 1 p. 182 online copy
  • Nicolson, J. and Burn, R., 1777, History and Antiquites of Cumberland and Westmorland p. 511 online copy


  • Dugdale, Wm, 1676, ‪The Baronage of England‬ (London) Vol. 2 p. 22


  • Graham, T.H.B., 1909, 'Six Extinct Cumberland Castles' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 9 p. 218-20 online copy
  • 1892, 'Recent Finds' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 12 p. 64-5 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1894, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1307-13) Vol. 1 p. 11 online copy
  • Society of Antiquaries, London, Ms 121, Wardrobe Accounts, 11 Edward II (1317-18), f20d (£160.5s pa to guard the peel of Dunmallok)