Drumburgh Castle

Castle in Carlisle

Drumburgh Castle is a a fortified residence or “pele tower” in Drumburgh, in the parish of Bowness, in the county of Cumbria, England. Peel towers or pele are small fortified keeps or tower houses, built along the English and Scottish borders in the Scottish Marches and North of England, mainly between the mid-14th century and about 1600.

After abandoning Beaumont Motte, Richard le Brun fortified Drombogh in 1307 when he was given a Royal licence to crenellate his dwelling house by King Edward II. He was probably strengthening an existing 13th century hall house to make it better able to withstand attack in the turbulent border region. The original house was possibly built within a Roman fort. Given the fact that Burgh was so close to a major ford across the Solway Firth, in an area that Scots and English fought over regularly, it made sense to build a fortified residence.

The construction used red sandstone masonry from the Roman wall for its construction. Thomas Dacre rebuilt the castle in 1518, producing what contemporaries described as “neither castle nor tower but a house of strength”. He incorporating his initials and coat of arms over the first floor entrance.

The house was altered again between 1678 and 1681 by John Alglionby, and in the 19th century a single storey stable was added.

Below a parapet with carved stone eagle finials, are 16th century stone steps leading to a iron-studded oak plank door, dated 1681. In the late 1970’s the western end wall was completely rebuilt in facsimile to three storeys, after being in danger of collapsing.

The property today has a distinctive first floor doorway and staircase – a later addition to the castle – decorated with the Dacre coat of arms, and has parts of a Roman shrine incorporated into its stonework.

Visiting Drumburgh Castle

Address: Drumburgh Castle, Drumburgh, Wigton, UK
Duration: 20 minutes