Appleby Castle, uninhabited portions


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Eden (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
NY 68556 19927


Appleby Castle, uninhabited portions.

Reasons for Designation

A tower keep castle is a strongly fortified residence in which the keep is the principal defensive feature. The keep may be free-standing or surrounded by a defensive enclosure; they are normally square in shape, although other shapes are known. Internally they have several floors providing accommodation of various types. If the keep has an attached enclosure this will normally be defined by a defensive wall, frequently with an external ditch. Access into the enclosure was provided by a bridge across the ditch, allowing entry via a gatehouse. Additional buildings, including stabling for animals and workshops, may be found within the enclosure. Tower keep castles were built throughout the medieval period, from immediately after the Norman Conquest to the mid- 15th century, with a peak in the middle of the 12th century. They provided strongly fortified residences for the king or leading families and occur in both urban or rural situations. Tower keep castles are widely dispersed throughout England with a major concentration on the Welsh border. They are rare nationally with only 104 recorded examples. With other castle types, they are major medieval monument types which, belonging to the highest levels of society, frequently acted as major administrative centres and formed the foci for developing settlement patterns. Castles generally provide an emotive and evocative link to the past and can provide a valuable educational resource, both with respect to medieval warfare and defence, and to wider aspects of medieval society. All examples retaining significant remains of medieval date are considered to be nationally important.

Appleby Castle is highly representative of its period and is very well-preserved with large portions of the earthwork defences and upstanding structures remaining intact. The monument will contain archaeological deposit relating to the long history of its construction and use. The monument provides insight into the character of fortifications and the residences of the highest levels of society in the medieval period.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 23 March 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the remains of a castle of medieval date, situated next to the River Eden. The area of protection includes part of the grounds around the castle, the castle earthworks, the curtain wall excepting the inhabited section and the square keep. The earthworks include a massive ditch enclosing the keep platform on all sides except the east, a ditch that once enclosed an outer bailey to the north west of the keep and a number of other banks and ditches north and south of the main entrance. The ashlar-built square keep, known as Caesar’s Tower, was built in the 1170 to replace the motte and bailey castle that formerly stood on the site. The keep stands to four storeys with the fourth storey and the upstanding angle-turrets being later additions understood to be of 12th century and late 13th century date respectively. The keep was roofless in the 17th century when it was restored by Lady Anne Clifford. To the north of the castle is a small square rubble building with a pyramidal roof, known as Lady Anne’s Bee-house. It is understood to have been built as a gazebo or oratory in the mid to late 17th century. Appleby Castle was originally a motte and bailey castle built by Ranulf de Meschines; it was replaced by a stone keep in 1170. The square keep and Lady Anne’s Bee-house are Listed Buildings Grade I. The monument lies within the Grade II* Registered Park and Garden.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CU 324
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:- 13288 (castle), 502430 (Caesar’s Tower), 1070180 (castle grounds), 1339812 (Lady Anne’s Bee-house)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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