Greeny Castle, Dean

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

There are earthwork remains

NameGreeny Castle, Dean
Alternative NamesGreen Castle; Glebe Field
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishDean

Earthworks in Glebe Field are reputedly those of a castle, but probably archery butts or spoil heaps. (Jackson 1990)

At Dean..." are parallel excavations in a swampy hollow and of oblong-square form"... (Dickinson)

"At the foot of {Park Hill, Dean} are... parallel trenches {which} are parallel excavations, but for what purpose they were constructed remains an enigma. They appear to be much later than the British period, and it has been suggested that they may have been medieval fish-ponds. Their waterlogged condition and proximity to the old church and manor house give colour to this view but the theory is not completely convincing." (Mason and Valetine)

"Probably fishponds" (Rec 6" (KS Hodgson Nov 1947))

Situated at the face of the S.W. slopes of Park Hill are a series of parallel depressions enclosed on the E side by an earthen bank. Two of the depressions run from NE to SW whilst three others are at right angles to them and run from NW to SE. The depressions which are reed covered and marshy underfoot, are separated by earthen banks each of which averages 3m in width by 0.7m in height, and are obviously constructed with the spoil from the depressions. On the western side is a stream, dry at the time of investigation which would serve to feed the ponds formed by the parallel banks. A spring inside the NE corner of the enclosure bank would also appear to serve the same purpose. The earthen bank enclosing the whole site acts as a pond bay preventing the overflow from the open ends of the depression. Mr. T.W. Waite, the owner of the field could offer no information on the nature of the site and there were no significant field names. The banks have no defensive appearances, and as suggested by {Hodgson} are most probably the remains of Md. fishponds (F1 EJ 09-SEP-59). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The complex of earthworks seems to include both fishponds and archery butts. A manor house stood nearby and it maybe that the castle name refereed to this house (with no suggestion that that house was fortified) or to some fanciful story as to the origin of the earthworks or to nearby mound (? dredge from the ponds) being the site for children's game of 'king of castle'.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY072251
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  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 98
  • Armstrong, A.M., 1971, The Place-Names of Cumberland, part 2 The Wards of Allerdale Above Derwent and Allerdale Below Derwent (English Place-Name Society 21) p. 368


  • Mason, J.R. and Valetine, H., 1925, 'Studfold Gate Circle and the Parallel Trenches at Dean' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 25 p. 271 online copy
  • Mason, J.R., 1923, 'Antiquities at Dean' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 23 p. 34 online copy
  • Ferguson, R.S. and Cowper, H,Swainson, 1892, 'An archaeological survey of Cumberland and Westmorland; and of Lancashire North-of-the-Sands' Archaeologia Vol. 53 p. 501
  • Dickinson, W., 1878, 'On and off the Road from Papcastle to Lamplugh Woodmoor' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 3 p. 345 online copy