Lowther Castle Stead

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

There are masonry footings remains

NameLowther Castle Stead
Alternative NamesCastlesteads; Castellum de Lauudre
Historic CountryWestmorland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishLowther

Castlesteads, earthwork, 360 yards S. of the church, forms a rectangular enclosure about 30 yards by 24 yards. It probably represents the overgrown foundations of a pele-tower or other mediæval building.

Condition—Bad. (RCHME 1936)

Earthworks of a rectangular enclosure in Lowther Park. PastScape report suggests it probably represents the overgrown foundations of a Medieval pele tower or other Medieval building. Field investigations carried out in 1966 found it to be in good condition. (PastScape)

The site is a large 30m by 25m rectangular ramparted enclosure with very substantial ramparts 4-5m thick with 2m wide tops and standing to 3m in height. At the south-eastern corner the ramparts stand to 4m in height and are much thicker, possibly being the location of a tower. There are possibly two entrances, one in the south and the other in the east. There may be collapsed debris in the interior. The predominantly earthwork form of the structure, the paucity of collapsed masonry and the possible twelfth century date would suggest that this was not a peel tower. It is too small to have been a motte and bailey, but could have been a timber ringwork castle. (LUAU)

Gatehouse Comments

Jackson suggests this is the site of the 'castellum de Lauudre' mentioned in 1174. Castellum mentioned c1250. This is is a likely position for an early castle, at other end of now vanished village of Lowther from church. May have undergone some later alteration, including conversion to peel tower site, and landscaping. It is also suggested that the C12/C13 castle was on the site now occupied by the modern Lowther Castle.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY518241
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved

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  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 72
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 290
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 72-3
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth) p. 160
  • Smith, A.H., 1967, Place Names of Westmorland. Part II: The barony of Westmorland, analyses, index, maps (English Place Name Society 43) p. 184
  • RCHME, 1936, An inventory of the historical monuments in Westmorland (HMSO) p. 160 no. 2 online transcription
  • Curwen, J.F., 1932, 'Parishes (West Ward): St Michael, Lowther' The Later Records relating to North Westmorland: or the Barony of Appleby (Kendal: CWAAS Record Series 8)p. 329 online transcription


  • Manuscripts of the Reverend Thomas Machell, vicar of Kirkby Thore (d 1698) Vol. 3 p. 37 (preserved at the Cumberland Record Office)


  • Lancaster University Archaeological Unit, March 1997, Arch Survey (Lowther Estate)