Pennington Castle Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Ringwork), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NamePennington Castle Hill
Alternative Names
Historic CountryLancashire
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishPennington

Earthwork remains of a Medieval ringwork, comprising a rampart and outer ditch on the slopes of Pennington Beck. The defended quadrant-shaped enclosure measures 156ft by 132ft. (PastScape)

Pennington Castle Hill is an interesting little earthwork about two miles west of Ulverston, and situated just about the place where the Fumess Fells drop down to meet Low or Plain Furness. It is therefore fairly close to the ancient road which came oversands from Cartmel to Sandside, and crossed through Low Fumess into South Cumberland. The situation is rather striking, being on the edge of Pennington Beck, which here runs in a deep ravine; and the makers of the Castle Hill have chosen a sharp elbow of cliff on the east bank, isolating it for defensive purposes by a semi-circular ditch and rampart, which thus took in a quadrant shaped area. The ward thus formed measures 156 feet by 132 feet, and the ditch is about 45 feet wide measured from the rampart top to the outer edge. As the site slopes to the south, and the ditch is about the same depth all round, its level at the south is lower than at the north, and it has, of course, never been meant to hold water. The rampart on the north is now perhaps twelve feet above the ward level, and there is only one entrance through it, that on the south-east, which is probably ancient. (Cowper 1906)

Gatehouse Comments

Precursor to Muncaster. Held by Penningtons as late as 1318, though they moved to Muncaster c. 1242. 600m from the parish church but this is an area of dispersed settlement. Whitaker (1823) reports 'foundations of a square building' but other authors report never of stone and Whitaker may just have misinterpreted the banks of the near square ringwork.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSD257777
Latitude54.1901206970215
Longitude-3.13899993896484
Eastings325770
Northings477740
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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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Books

  • Grimsditch, Brian, Nevell, Michael and Nevell, Richard, 2012, Buckton Castle and the Castles of the North West England (University of Salford Archaeological Monograph 2) p. 112
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 388
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 99 (slight)
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 274 (slight)
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press) p. 79
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 246
  • Gibson, Leslie Irving, 1977, Lancashire Castles and Towers (Dalesman Books)
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 37, 308
  • Farrer, Wm and Brownbill, J.(eds), 1914, VCH Lancashire Vol. 8 p. 338-42 (manorial history) online copy
  • Cowper, H. Swainton, 1908, 'Ancient Earthworks:- Lancashire North of the Sands' in Farrer, William and Brownbill, J. (eds), VCH Lancashire Vol. 2 p. 555-6 (plan) online copy
  • Barber, H., 1894, Furness and Cartmel Notes p. 224
  • Baines, E., 1836, History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster (London: Fisher, Son, and Jackson) Vol. 4 p. 669
  • Whitaker, T.D., 1823, History of Richmondshire (London) Vol. 2 p. 404 online copy
  • West, T., 1805, Antiquites of Furness (Ulverston) p. 407-9 online copy

Journals

  • Higham, Mary, 1991, 'The Mottes of North Lancashire, Lonsdale and South Cumbria' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 91 p. 79-90 (reprinted in Crosby, A.G. (ed), 2007, Of names and places: selected writings of Mary Higham (Nottingham: English Place-Name Society and the Society for Name Studies) p. 81-91) online copy
  • King, D.J.C. and Alcock, L., 1969, 'Ringworks in England and Wales' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 3 p. 90-127
  • Forde-Johnston, J., 1962, Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society Vol. 72 p. 12
  • 1941 Proceedings of the Barrow Naturalists' Field Club Vol. 27 p. 64
  • Collingwood, W.G., 1926, 'An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Westmorland and Lancashire North-of-the-Sands' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 26 p. 50 online copy
  • Cowper, H. Swainson, 1906, 'Pennington Castle Hill' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 6 p. 316-17 online copy
  • Cowper, H. Swainson, 1893, 'The ancient settlements, cemeteries, and earthworks of Furness' Archaeologia Vol. 53 p. 424-6
  • Cowper, H. Swainson, 1887-8, 'Some Prehistoric Remains in North Lonsdale' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 9 p. 503 (Find of 'celt' (a prehistoric stone adze)) [online copy > https://archive.org/stream/transactionscum02socigoog#page/n600/mode/2up]

Other

  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk North West Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 35 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 38 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 40 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 51 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 48 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 45 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 52 online copy
  • Constable, Christopher, 2003, Aspects of the archaeology of the castle in the north of England C 1066-1216 (Doctoral thesis, Durham University) Available at Durham E-Theses Online