After many years of Scottish raids in the region, William Strickland, who later became Bishop of Carlisle, was granted a licence to crenellate his property in 1397. It started as a pele tower and expanded into a square castle built around a courtyard. Much of the development of the castle was carried out by Ralph Neville, first Earl of Westmorland, who inherited the property in 1419. Further improvements were made by Richard, Duke of Gloucester, during his time as Lieutenant of the North, before he ascended the throne as Richard III in 1483.
By 1572 the castle was already quite ruinous, and despite its temporary use during the Civil War as the headquarters for the Parliamentarian, General Lambert, it was slighted after the war. The walls on one side of the castle are all that now stand to any great height; the interior buildings have been reduced to their foundations.
- In a park in Penrith opposite the railway station
- Penrith Castle, Penrith, Cumbria
- English Heritage. Free, open access when the park is open
- For further information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk
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