Muncaster Castle

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Things to do


Date of travel

July, 2021

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Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

Muncaster Castle has been the home of the Pennington Family for over 800 years.

Set high above the High above River Esk, it is a prominent land mark, and there are spectacular views across the fells.

The land was granted to Alan de Penitone of Pennington in Lancashire in 1208 by King John, although the family may have lived here since 1026. A castle was built in the late C13th and enlarged in C14th, when a pele tower was added.

Henry VI sheltered here after the Battle of Hexham in 1464 and is reputed to have left his drinking bowl (known as the”‘Luck of Muncaster'”: ) behind with the promise that if it remained intact, the lands would remain in the ownership of the Penningtons. The family still have the cup which is kept in the family vault.

The castle has been enlarged and modified over the years, particularly in 1780 for the Second Lord Muncaster and again in C19th for the fourth Lord Muncaster who asked Anthony Salvin to update the house. He added a new tower to mirror the original pele tower and converted the courtyard into the present drawing room

When the 5th and last Lord Muncaster died in 1917, the estate passed to his nearest relation on his mother’s family, Sir John Ramsden, on condition he changed his name to Pennington. He carried out extensive works in the gardens and was responsible for planting the rhododendrons.

The castle is still a much loved family home.



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