Mallerstang: Pendragon Castle


Located to the north of Outhgill in the Vale of Mallerstang are the remains of Pendragon Castle. Reputedly founded by Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur, the castle was built next to the river Eden in the 12th century. The fortified tower house is important as a Late Norman pele tower and apparently built to stand on its own.


Originally¬†built by Hugh de Morville in 1173, the castle passed into the ownership of the Clifford family who obtained a licence to crenelate in 1309. The castle was destroyed by the Scots in 1341 and subsequently rebuilt in 1360. The Clifford’s continued to live in the castle until 1541 when it was again destroyed by fire. Lady Anne Clifford restored the castle in 1660 and following her death, the building gradually fell into ruin.


Fallen masonry has revealed a north entrance with a spiral stair either side of the passage which was closed by a portcullis and Pevsner records vaulted mural chambers in the walls. The castle was eventually dismantled in circa 1685. Pendragon Castle is set in the stunning landscape of Mallerstang and is both a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I Listed.


Kirkby Stephen: Anglo-Danish Stone Fragments


On display in an exhibition space in the Parish Church of Kirkby Stephen are fragmentary stone pieces. The above stone is a type of cross-head sometimes referred to as a plate head. Carved out of a large block of sandstone, the arms stand proud and are linked by a raised outer rim. The block has been squared off, truncating the two side arms and removing most of the linking ring. The date of the stone is uncertain but thought likely to be 11th century.


The above semi cylindrical shaft on display was found in 1847 built into the wall of the chancel. With well preserved patterns on all sides, it has delicately carved ornamentation. The patterns of plaited strands and spiral scrolls are a blend of Saxon and Viking styles and date to the 10th century.


The above stone fragment is part of a cross head with only two of four cross arms remaining. The arms are linked by a ring which gives the appearance of a wheel and is where its description of a wheel cross is derived. Crudely carved and badly damaged, the stone design was popular in the Viking age and it dates to between 900-1100.