Linstock Castle

Has been described as a Certain Palace (Bishop), and also as a Certain Tower House, and also as a Possible Pele Tower

There are major building remains

NameLinstock Castle
Alternative Names
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishStanwix Rural

Farmhouse, formerly tower house. C12 or early C13 as palace for the Bishops of Carlisle, with C17-C20 additions and alterations. Tower has large blocks of red sandstone, mostly from Roman Wall nearby, for walls 2 metres thick; slate gabled roof. 3 storeys, one bay, tower. entrance to ground floor, has chamfered rounded arch with continuous hood-mould hidden by ivy: above left is original first-floor entrance with rounded arch, now filled. Windows inserted 1768 with plain freestone surrounds, sashes with glazing bars, C19 plank door. East face has 2 round-headed lancets and one flat-headed chamfered lancet, now all filled. Ground floor chamfered lancet to west face. C20 steel casement in north face. Interior has pointed arch vaulting to ground floor without stairs: first-floor room connected to 2 second-floor rooms by stair in thickness of the wall. Walls originally higher and flat roof, reduced and gabled 1768. Extension at right angles of 2 storeys, 2 bays has sandstone rubble walls partly covered by render, is probably early C17 incorporating parts of an earlier out building. Two C17 chamfered mullion windows with mixed C19 and C20 sashes, with with single glazing bars and steel casements. Further one bay early C19 extension of brick under same roof with C20 kitchen extension of single storey, 2 bays to side. Close to the castle are the remains of the encircling moat. Used as Bishops Palace c1219-early C14, then as prison and refuge for villagers in border raids. For 6 days in March 1307, Edward I, his Queen and Court were entertained here, whilst Parliament was held in Carlisle. (Listed Building Report)

Linstock Castle is listed as a 14th century Pele Tower. The lordship is mentioned circa 1120-33, but the first mention of the building is in 1292. In circa 1450 the castle was abandoned by the Bishops of Carlisle in favour of Rise Castle, and was used for the defence of the local people

The Castle was at one time moated, but the ditch is now mostly filled in. The tower, which is 32ft x 251/2ft has had its upper portion much modified and gabled over; it was repaired, and modern windows added in 1768. Wilson states that there is no early justification for its denomination as a Castle. (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

The surviving C15 building was a secondary residence of the bishop and is, in the terms used within Gatehouse, therefore, a 'tower house' (as it is of baronial status - a status reflected in the 'castle' name). However, in practice, this was a building let to gentry status tenants and the form, a chamber block of three storeys attached to an unfortified hall, it might be considered as a 'pele tower'.

- 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 ReferenceNY428584
Latitude54.917781829834
Longitude-2.89258003234863
Eastings342890
Northings558480
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved

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Books

  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 84 (plan)
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 172
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 72
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 48 (slight)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 72
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 88
  • Hugill, Robert, 1977, Castles and Peles of Cumberland and Westmorland (Newcastle; Frank Graham) p. 122-124
  • Pevsner, N., 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth: Penguin) p. 139
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 298-9
  • Wilson, J., 1912, Rose Castle (Carlisle) p. 8-9
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 321 online copy
  • Taylor, M.W., 1892, Old Manorial Halls of Westmorland and Cumberland (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 8) p. 342-3 online copy
  • Hutchinson, Wm., 1794, The history of the county of Cumberland Vol. 2 p. 579-81 view online copy

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Bennet, J., Herne, A. and Whitworth, A., 1987, '"The Castles", Downhall, Aikton' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 87 p. 81 online copy
  • Graham, T.H.B., 1912, 'Extinct Cumberland Castles (Part IV)' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 12 p. 187-94 online copy

Other

  • Payne, Naomi, 2003, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury (PhD Thesis University of Bristol) Appendix B: List of Medieval Bishop's Palaces in England and Wales (available via EThOS)