Mallerstang: Pendragon Castle

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Carlisle Cathedral: Replica 12th Century Sword

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On display in the south aisle of the choir in Carlisle Cathedral is a replica of a 12th century sword. Similar in size, weight and design, the single handed cruciform sword was commonly used during the Middle Ages. Such arming swords were the standard military sword of the knight and descend from the swords from the Migration Period and the Vikings.

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The sword is said to replicate one of the swords used to murder the 12th century Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket. The original sword is thought to have belonged to the Anglo Norman knight Sir Hugh de Morville, Lord of Westmorland, who was one of the murderers of Becket.