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Places to visit in Cumbria.Castles in Cumbria.Historic buildings of interest.Castles of the Lake District.


Pendragon Castle in the Eden Valley

Pendragon Castle ruins in the Mallerstang Valley. Cumbria and the Lake District.
The ruins of Pendragon Castle.

Welcome to the EDGE Guide to Pendragon Castle. This is, according to legend, the site where Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur, died.

The story goes that Uther, also a King, had his capital at Carlisle, and his Round Table at Eamont Bridge, just to the south of Penrith.

The castle ruins are in a dramatic spot in the Mallerstang Valley, the fledgling River Eden flows close by the castle, and above is the forbidding Wild Boar Fell.

It is thought that Hugh de Morville built the castle that the present remains are based on around 1173, possibly fortified at a later date.

The castle was then given to Robert de Vipont along with the castles at Appleby and Brough in 1203, later passed to Robert de Leyburne, and later still to Robert de Clifford.

A licence to crenelate was granted in 1309 while in the Cliffords' ownership and it is possible that the castle was enlarged at this time. Robert de Clifford met his death on the battle field at Bannockburn in 1314 and the castle went to his son Roger.

Pendragon Castle.
Pendragon Castle in the Mallerstang Valley.

Roger chose to support the Earl of Lancaster in his rebellion and was taken prisoner at the battle of Boroughbridge and was executed in 1322 by King Edward II. The castle was then passed by the Crown to Andrew de Harcla, Earl of Carlisle.

A year later the castle was returned to the Clifford family after de Harcla was himself executed.

In 1341 the Scots burnt the castle so severely that it was abandoned.

Rebuilt in 1360, the castle was lived in until1541 but another fire, this time accidental resulted in the building becoming a ruin, and it stayed in this condition until in 1643 Lady Anne Clifford took an interest in it.

Lady Anne began her great campaign of restorations in 1660 and Pendragon benefIted from her efforts. The building work took over a year to complete. In 1676 Lady Anne died and the castle eventually became a ruin once more.

Today there is not much left of what was always a small fortification; what remains is being worked on to prevent further decay.

Pendragon is not open to the public: but is included in these pages because it is easily seen from the road.

Map of the Castles of Cumbria and the Lake District.