Greystoke Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameGreystoke Castle
Alternative NamesGrey Stock; Craystock; Craystok; Greistock
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishGreystoke

Castle rebuilt as a country house. On a medieval site incorporating parts of the building licensed to crenellate 1353, for the Greystock family. Damaged during the Civil War, partly rebuilt in late C17 and refronted 1710 for the Howard family, with mid C18 alterations for 10th Duke of Norfolk. 1789 wing and further alterations for the 11th Duke of Norfolk; extensive refacing dated 1839 on lead rainwater heads (completed 1846) by Anthony Salvin for Henry Howard, and further work by Salvin after a fire in 1868, for the same owner; mid C20 restoration for Stafford Howard. Mixed pink and yellow sandstone ashlar, the earlier parts large blocks of sandstone rubble, with string courses and battlemented parapets; graduated slate roof, flat on tower; banded red sandstone ashlar chimney stacks. Left 2-storey, 9-bay wing with rear angled central 4-storey rectangular tower and projecting right wing of numerous bays, which has been reduced to a single storey and built around a small courtyard. The left wing appears to be almost completely Salvin's work, but is within earlier gable end walls. Central 2-storey porch and projecting end bays. Porch has flat-headed chamfered-surround doorway with hoodmould, under a large mullion-and-transomed window, the parapet carved with Howard coat-of-arms flanked by constituent family arms. Recessed bays and projections have irregular large mullioned-and-transomed windows. Parapet finials are heraldic supporters with pendants. The right wing projects in 2 stages; the first stage a single bay with a small angle turret; the second stage has an angled wall with 3 blocked Gothic windows under hoodmoulds, the remainder of the wall with slit vents. Left return wall of the main wing is partly medieval; a right-angled buttress has a shouldered-arched doorway leading into a small mural chamber; a further parallel buttress has a blocked shouldered-arched upper-floor doorway, the recess filled with an unusual inscribed socket stone

The rear of this wing has again been refaced by Salvin but its irregularity suggests earlier walls within. 2 storeys, 3 bays with right recessed bay and end projecting bay. Various mullioned windows with cusped heads, a left canted bay window and right 2-storey bay window. The tower has 2 medieval storeys over a vaulted basement, with a further 2 storeys added, with battlements, in late C18; C18 Gothic windows, those on upper floors 2-light with trefoil heads. 1789 wing, now single-storey: C19 2-light stone-mullioned windows and base of polygonal angle tower. Part of the courtyard wall retains a blocked upper-floor pointed-arched window. The remainder of the courtyard filled with C20 garages, woodstore, storerooms and toilets. Interior is Salvin's work after the fire. (Listed Building Report)

Greystoke Castle - Licence to crenellate was given in 1353 and three towers were built one of which still stands at the S.W. end. The other two were destroyed by General Lambert's Army in 1648. Curwen states that the castle was burnt down then and rebuilt in 1675 but Lady Howard says there is no record of this. Enlarged and altered 1789, restored 1840. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The modern estate offers hunting and falconry as part of a range of activities and Gatehouse suspects this has always been a major part of the function of this house. Always called a castle and a baronial house but in form now a hall between two chamber block towers but was moated around and may have been a courtyard castle.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY435309
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights ReservedView full Sized Image
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reservedView full Sized Image

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  • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
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  • Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 319
  • Howard, M., 1924, 'Greystoke Castle' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 24 p. 156-8 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1907, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1350-54) Vol. 9 p. 495 online copy
  • Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 154-5
  • Green, M.A.E.(ed), 1872, Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Elizabeth, Addenda 1580-1625 p. 17-18 no. 44 (Reference for for Dacre's 1580 survey of the West March) online copy


  • Stafford-Howard, V.S., History of Greystoke (MS Carlisle Record Office)