Pendragon Castle resides in the Vale of Mallerstang near the hamlet of Outhgill in Cumbria along the banks of the River Eden. Its location on a raised hill consists of a single ruinous tower. While legends link this castle to Uther Pendragon, father of King Arthur, the structure was built in the 12th century, more than 500 years after the time of King Arthur.

Pendragon Castle

A notable castle owner was Sir Hugh de Morville, Lord of Westmorland, one of four knights who murdered Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170.

The castle was attacked and set afire by the Scots in 1341 but was rebuilt nearly 20 years later in 1360. The tallest part of the castle is the Garderobe Turret, added sometime in the 14th century.

Almost two centuries later, in 1541, fire again left the castle in ruins. Ownership of the castle eventually passed to Lady Anne Clifford, who rebuilt it in 1660 as she did with many other Northern England castles. Lady Anne added an enclosing wall and other structures, including a stable, bakery, and brewhouse. After she died in 1676, the court passed to the Earl of Thanet, who removed the lead from the roof. The castle gradually deteriorated into a ruinous state, with only a portion of the tower remaining today.

Castle Highlights

The castle is situated on private farmland but is still publicly accessible via the entrance gate located by the nearby road. Since the gate precludes livestock from leaving the farm, it is essential to ensure it is kept closed.

Pendragon Castle's remnants are considered relatively modest compared to other castle ruins. Only the base and partial remnants of the tower's first two stories remain intact. One of the walls contains an opening where a gate may have existed. The uneven ground within the castle includes a grass-covered mound, which consists of rubble accumulated from the upper floors.

The thick tower walls still contain several well-preserved vaulted chambers, which highlight the current architecture. The castle's alleged association with Uther Pendragon gives it a mystical feeling when visiting the ruins. One Uther Pendragon legend states Uther attempted to divert the River Eden to form a moat around the castle but was unsuccessful.

Let Uther Pendragon do what he can
Eden will run where Eden ran

Pendragon Castle is also haunted.