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Greystoke Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Grey Stock; Craystock; Craystok; Greistock

In the civil parish of Greystoke.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY435309
Latitude 54.66998° Longitude -2.87705°

Greystoke Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Castle rebuilt as a country house. On a medieval site incorporating parts of the building licensed to crenellate 1353, for the Greystock family. Damaged during the Civil War, partly rebuilt in late C17 and refronted 1710 for the Howard family, with mid C18 alterations for 10th Duke of Norfolk. 1789 wing and further alterations for the 11th Duke of Norfolk; extensive refacing dated 1839 on lead rainwater heads (completed 1846) by Anthony Salvin for Henry Howard, and further work by Salvin after a fire in 1868, for the same owner; mid C20 restoration for Stafford Howard. Mixed pink and yellow sandstone ashlar, the earlier parts large blocks of sandstone rubble, with string courses and battlemented parapets; graduated slate roof, flat on tower; banded red sandstone ashlar chimney stacks. Left 2-storey, 9-bay wing with rear angled central 4-storey rectangular tower and projecting right wing of numerous bays, which has been reduced to a single storey and built around a small courtyard. The left wing appears to be almost completely Salvin's work, but is within earlier gable end walls. Central 2-storey porch and projecting end bays. Porch has flat-headed chamfered-surround doorway with hoodmould, under a large mullion-and-transomed window, the parapet carved with Howard coat-of-arms flanked by constituent family arms. Recessed bays and projections have irregular large mullioned-and-transomed windows. Parapet finials are heraldic supporters with pendants. The right wing projects in 2 stages; the first stage a single bay with a small angle turret; the second stage has an angled wall with 3 blocked Gothic windows under hoodmoulds, the remainder of the wall with slit vents. Left return wall of the main wing is partly medieval; a right-angled buttress has a shouldered-arched doorway leading into a small mural chamber; a further parallel buttress has a blocked shouldered-arched upper-floor doorway, the recess filled with an unusual inscribed socket stone. The rear of this wing has again been refaced by Salvin but its irregularity suggests earlier walls within. 2 storeys, 3 bays with right recessed bay and end projecting bay. Various mullioned windows with cusped heads, a left canted bay window and right 2-storey bay window. The tower has 2 medieval storeys over a vaulted basement, with a further 2 storeys added, with battlements, in late C18; C18 Gothic windows, those on upper floors 2-light with trefoil heads. 1789 wing, now single-storey: C19 2-light stone-mullioned windows and base of polygonal angle tower. Part of the courtyard wall retains a blocked upper-floor pointed-arched window. The remainder of the courtyard filled with C20 garages, woodstore, storerooms and toilets. Interior is Salvin's work after the fire. (Listed Building Report)

Greystoke Castle - Licence to crenellate was given in 1353 and three towers were built one of which still stands at the S.W. end. The other two were destroyed by General Lambert's Army in 1648. Curwen states that the castle was burnt down then and rebuilt in 1675 but Lady Howard says there is no record of this. Enlarged and altered 1789, restored 1840. (PastScape)

The modern estate offers hunting and falconry as part of a range of activities and Gatehouse suspects this has always been a major part of the function of this house.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
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Sources of information, references and further reading
  • Websites (Gatehouse is not responsible for the content of external websites.)
  • Books
    • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 55
      Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 186-7
      Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 41
      Jackson, M.J.,1990, Castles of Cumbria (Carlisle: Carel Press)
      King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 86
      Fry, P.S., 1980, Castles of the British Isles (David and Charles) p. 238
      Hugill, Robert, 1977, Castles and Peles of Cumberland and Westmorland (Newcastle; Frank Graham) p. 89-91
      Pevsner, N., 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth: Penguin) p. 133
      Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 190, 205-6
      Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
      Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 314-5 online copy
      Taylor, M.W., 1892, Old Manorial Halls of Westmorland and Cumberland (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 8) p. 287 online copy
      Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 415 online copy
      Lysons, Daniel and Samuel, 1816, 'Antiquities: Castles' Magna Britannia Vol. 4: Cumberland p. ccii-ccvi online transcription
  • Periodical Articles
    • Thompson, M.W., 1986, 'Associated monasteries and castles in the Middle Ages: a tentative list' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 143 p. 319
      Lady Howard, 1924, Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 24 p. 156-8
  • Primary (Medieval documents or transcriptions of such documents - This section is far from complete and the secondary sources should be consulted for full references.)
    • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1907, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1350-54) Vol. 9 p. 495 online copy
      Rickard, John, 2002, The Castle Community. The Personnel of English and Welsh Castles, 1272-1422 (Boydell Press) (lists sources for 1272-1422) p. 154-5
  • Antiquarian (Histories and accounts from late medieval and early modern writers)
    • Camden, Wm, 1607, Britannia hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton (2004)
      Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England  (Sutton Publishing) p. 97
      Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 5 p. 56 online copy
  • Other sources: Theses; 'grey' literature; in-house reports; unpublished works; etc.
    • Stafford-Howard, V.S., History of Greystoke (MS Carlisle Record Office)
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This record last updated on Saturday, November 15, 2014

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