Commanding an impressive view over the Eden Valley in Cumbria, England, stand the remains of Pendragon Castle, thought to be constructed during the reign of William II in the twelfth century by Ranulph de Meschines, Although the keep dates to Norman times, the Garderobe Turret (toilet) dates from the fourteenth century.
No archealogical evidence has been found to suggest Dark Age settlement, although a couple of Roman coins have been discovered on the site.
The castle is now a ruin with evidence of the spiral staircase to the left of the doorway and other rooms off to the right. Most of the first floor has collapsed showing only traces of where the floor would have been with a few windows and doorways. The 14th century garderobe still stands.
Over it’s lifetime, the Castle has had many famous and infamous owners, one being Hugh de Morville, one of the knights responsible for the murder of St. Thomas A’Beckett at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170.
Robert de Veteripont became the next owner and then Lady Ideona de Veteripont who also founded the nearby church of St. Mary at Outhgill. A later inheritance saw the castle passed on to Robert de Leyburn before becoming the property of the wealthy Robert de Clifford, who acquired a licence to crenalate the castle (supply with battlements) in 1309. When he was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 the castle passed to his son, Roger.
In 1341 the castle was destroyed by a raiding Scottish army but was rebuilt in 1360. Disaster struck again in 1541, when fire left Pendragon castle in ruins. It was not until the mid seventeenth century that the castle was restored to it’s former glory by Lady Anne Clifford. Following Lady Anne’s death in 1676, the Earl of Thanet, removed anything of value, including the lead from the roof and again left the castle to the ravages of nature.
Some recent work has been carried out to prop up some of the structure and to install a set of wooden steps to lead to what is left of the first level.
If you visit this site, please be aware that it is on private land and that animals are grazing around the castle.
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)
Lens: Canon 18-55mm IS
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Single RAW image Tonemapped in Photomatix Pro.