Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower
There are major building remains
|Alternative Names||Meol-Castre; Mulcaster
Large house incorporating (C13?) fortified tower in the south-west corner; remodelled and enlarged 1862-66 by Anthony Salvin for the 4th Lord Muncaster. Coursed rubble with quoins and sandstone detailing; embattled parapets, some carried on cavetto eaves. Graduated slate roofs; corniced stone chimneys. U-shaped plan with tower at end of each arm; mainly 2 and 3 storeys. Main entrance on south side in full-height porch. Scattered fenestration, mainly C19, of multi-light stone-mullioned (and transomed) windows. Very fine interior includes panelled Hall, drawing room (with decorative plasterwork to segmental ceiling), and octagonal library with galleries. (Listed Building Report)
THE manor of Mealcastre or Mulcaster was, like Millom, held of the barony of Egremont, and lay between the rivers Esk and Mite, about a mile from the railway at Ravenglass, where these two streams unite with the Irt in the estuary of Esk, and flow thence into the Irish Sea.
There was an ancient castle here upon an eminence N. of the Esk, belonging to the Penningtons, a family whose domicile, prior to the Conquest, had been at a place of that name in Furness, where they resided till 1242. The fee of Ravenglass had been given to Alan Pennington temp. John, and his descendant Sir John Pennington, a steady Lancastrian, residing at the time at Muncaster, gave shelter there to King Henry VI. after the disaster at Hexham in 1464, on his flight from Bywell Castle in Northumberland to find an asylum in the Lake Country. On leaving the friendly castle, he is said to have presented his entertainer with "an ancient glass vessel of the basin kind, about 7 inches in diameter, ornamented with some white enamelled mouldings," which has been preserved here with pious care ever since, and is called the "Luck of Muncaster." Like a similar relic at Eden-hall, it was given with a prayer that as long as it should he preserved the family should prosper, and never want a male heir
There is an old painting representing this incident in what is called King Henry's Bedroom here.
The present castle is chiefly modern, hut the principal tower of the ancient castle has been preserved, though it has no longer its original out-ward appearance. The place is surrounded with line grounds and woods, and has a magnificent prospect over Eskdale. (Mackenzie 1896)
The Pele tower of Muncaster Castle was erected about 1325, and is the S.W. angle of the present buildings. The castle was practically rebuilt in 1783, and repaired and enlarged in 1865. (PastScape–ref. Curwen)
This is a Grade 1 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 Reference||SD103963