Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of PIEL CASTLE
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Statutory Address:

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

Barrow-in-Furness (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 23284 63593



SD26SW PIEL ISLAND 708-1/8/238 Piel Castle 10/11/49


Ruins of castle. Licensed 1327, dismantled 1403, repaired c1429 (previous list description). Cobble rubble with red sandstone dressings. Incomplete 3-storey keep now of 2 long cells with north gatehouse; east side collapsed. Inner defence on 2 sides has gatehouse to west and corner towers. Less complete outer bailey with section of wall and freestanding towers linked by mound and ditch. Keep: chamfered plinth; offset diagonal buttresses and mid-point buttresses; pointed, 2-light windows originally with quatrefoils. Vaulted gatehouse has moulded, pointed arch with clinging figure carved on keystone; hexagonal clasping buttresses. Internal spiral stair to left is lit by slits each side of the buttress; wall bows out at another spiral stair on right return. Projection at south-east corner has different floor levels. Vaulted look-outs at corners of parapet. Inner defence: 2-storey west gatehouse with pointed arches and 2 flights of steps against wall to north; north-west tower is 5-sided. Furness Abbey (qv) engaged in much trade through Piel Harbour and fortified this site soon after the Scottish invasions of 1316 and 1322. The castle provided a secure warehouse for contraband goods including Flemish wool. Henry IV briefly took possession but not before the abbots had the roof stripped to ensure the King did not install revenue men. In 1487 Lambert Simnel and an army of mercenaries landed at Piel intending to dethrone Henry VII; their march ended in defeat at the Battle of Stoke. By 1530 the castle had long been in ruins. Scheduled Ancient Monument now in the care of English Heritage. (Barnes F: Barrow and District: Barrow: 1968-: 32-33, 38).

Listing NGR: SD2330063566


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

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Books and journals
Barnes, F , Barrow and District, (1968), 32-33


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 26 Jul 2001
Reference: IOE01/03819/09
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr CJ Wright. Source Historic England Archive
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