Triermain Castle

Has been described as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameTriermain Castle
Alternative NamesTrevermane; Trivermain; Tradermayne; Tridermaine; Treuermane; Tryermain; Tryvermaine; Tradermeane
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishWaterhead

No definite documentary information until the end of the 16th century; the fragmentary remains of the castle probably date from about the 14th century. It seems to have been quadrangular in plan, measuring about 73' by 69', with towers at the eastern and western ends. To the west are fragments which may represent a gatehouse, and at the foot of the mound on the west side are remains of another, less substantial, building. There are traces of a moat on the south and east sides.(Graham; McIntire). The castle has been built upon a pronounced, sub-rectangular, scarped natural hillock, approximately 4.2m high, at the NW end of a slight ridge. It is doubtful whether the alleged moat was ever a continuous enclosing feature, as it is only evident at the SE angle, cutting through the slight ridge at its most vulnerable side. Now much-mutilated by a drainage channel and cattle, it still reaches a maximum depth of 1.5 m at the angle, but diminishes to ground level to the N and W. At the centre of the mound, the only surviving fragment of the castle is the SE angle of a tower, which stands almost to its original height. The S wall of this tower has a pronounced batter, and within the angle are traces of a newel staircase. The ground surface is generally disturbed by buried foundations, and fragments of fallen masonry (Field Investigators Comments–F1 DS 30-JUN-72). NY 59466680 Enclosure castle known as Triermain Castle. The monument stands on a small glacial mound and is quadrangular in plan with towers on the east and west sides. It was surrounded by a curtain wall and flanked by a moat. The upstanding remains of the monument include the ruins of an internal building and a fragment of the gatehouse to the rear. The main internal building measured c22m by 21m, but only a corner survives. The moat has been partially filled in and measures up to 5m wide and 1m deep where it survives. Masonry from Hadrian's Wall was used to build the castle

The date of construction is uncertain, the land was granted in 1157 and a licence to crenellate was possibly granted to this site in 1340 (Scheduled Monument Notification–20-NOV-1995). Listed by Cathcart King. Described as ruinous in 1580 (King). (PastScape)

Despite many centuries of neglect, the site of Triermain Castle survives reasonably well and still retains upstanding medieval fabric. The monument remains largely unencumbered by modern development and will contain significant buried remains of the medieval castle which is known to have been occupied until the late 15th century.

The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of Triermain medieval enclosure castle. It is situated immediately to the east of Triermain Farm and stands on a small glacial mound in the midst of a wide valley. The castle was quadrangular in plan with towers on the east and west sides. It was surrounded by a curtain wall and flanked by a moat. The upstanding remains of the monument include the ruins of an internal building and a fragment of the gatehouse to the west.

The castle was built with material from Hadrian's Wall which runs c.1km to the south. The mound upon which it stands is littered with grass-covered rubble which represents the tumble from the monument's walls. The main internal building measured c.22m by 21m but its only upstanding fragment is a corner which still stands to almost its full height. Within the fabric of this masonry there are traces of a newel staircase and, at first floor level, remains of a window and part of a door jamb. The surrounding moat has been partly infilled but still survives at the south east corner and along parts of the south and east sides where it measures up to 5m wide by 1m deep. To the west of the castle, and adjacent to modern farmbuildings, there is a fragment of masonry measuring c.4m long and up to 1.4m high which originally formed part of the gatehouse to the castle.

Triermain was included in a grant of land given by Henry II in 1157 to Hubert de Vaux. The date of the castle's construction is unknown but in 1340 Roland de Vaux was given licence to crenellate his 'dwelling place of Trevermame'. In the latter half of the 15th century the manor of Triermain was purchased by the Dacres and about this time Triermain Castle appears to have been abandoned in favour of a new castle at Askerton a little over three miles away. Latterly the monument has received literary recognition through Sir Walter Scott's poem 'The Bridal Of Triermain', Robert Carlyle's poem 'De Vaux, or the heir of Gilsland', and Samual Coleridge's 'Christobel'. (Scheduling Report)

"The scite of the said manner of Tradermayne, was sometimes a fair castle called Tradermayne castle, a house of great strength and of good receipt; it stood and was built opposite to the coasts of Scotland and Tyndell, and about vj miles distant from Lydderesedell, and was a very convenient place for both annoying of the enemy and defending the country thereabouts, but now the said castle is utterly decayed." (1603 Survey quoted in Ferguson 1876-7)

Gatehouse Comments

The mound on which the castle is built is, occasionally, called a motte but there is no real suggestion of an earthwork castle here.

- 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 ReferenceNY594668
Latitude54.9941215515137
Longitude-2.63498997688293
Eastings359470
Northings566810
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World 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. 114
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 175 (plan)
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 91
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 47
  • Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 91
  • Hugill, Robert, 1977, Castles and Peles of Cumberland and Westmorland (Newcastle; Frank Graham) p. 179-180
  • Pevsner, N., 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth: Penguin) p. 127
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 189, 238-40
  • 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. 332-3 online copy
  • Taylor, M.W., 1892, Old Manorial Halls of Westmorland and Cumberland (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 8) p. 349 (slight) online copy

Journals

  • McIntire, W.T., 1926, 'Triermain Castle' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 26 p. 246-54 online copy
  • Graham, T.H.B., 1911, 'Extinct Cumberland Castles (Part III)' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 11 p. 250-4 online copy
  • Ferguson, C.J., 1876-7, 'Two Border Fortresses' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 3 p. 176-8 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1898, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1338-40) Vol. 4 p. 417 online copy
  • Green, M.A.E.(ed), 1872, Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Elizabeth, Addenda 1580-1625 p. 17-18 no. 44 (Reference for for Dacre's 1580 survey of the West March) online copy
  • Graham, T. H. B. (ed.), 1934, The barony of Gilsland. Lord William Howard's survey, taken in 1603 (Feild-Booke yt explaines all the Map Booke for Gilsland taken in 1603) (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 16)

Other

  • Historic England, 2015, Heritage at Risk North West Register 2015 (London: Historic England) p. 16, 18 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2014, Heritage at Risk Register 2014 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 16, 19 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 16, 19 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 31 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 30 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 28 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 North West (London: English Heritage) p. 36 online copy