I’ve previously shared a photo with you of Egremont Castle, and I thought I would share another with you today.
The history of Egremont dates from the Bronze Age, but the town was put on the map in the 10th Century when work had begun on building a fortress, by Walter de Meschines.
The first keep at Egremont, in West Cumbria, was built on a natural motte in c1120. At the end of the 12th century a circular stone shell keep was added. The gatehouse and curtain walls were added in the 12th and 13th centuries. It has been in ruins for 300 years, but the gatehouse and parts of the hall and walls are still standing.
In 1315 and 1322, Robert the Bruce raided and damaged the castle, additions and alterations were then made, which included building The Great Hall. In 1572 the castle was dismantled in part, after Thomas Percy, 7th earl of Northumberland was executed for treason.
The castle is the subject of a local legend, one immortalized by Wordsworth in The Horn of Egremont:
To the Horn Sir Eustace pointedWilliam Wordsworth
Which for ages there had hung.
Horn it was which none could sound,
No one upon living ground,
Save He who came as rightful Heir
To Egremont’s Domains and Castle fair.
The legend exists in various forms but basically it is the story of two brothers riding away to the Holy Wars, of the elder being captured and held for ransom and the younger brother being sent home to raise the price of freedom. Once home he decides to do nothing and to assume his brothers place. The latter however, is freed through the love of his captors daughter, and returns to blow the horn that hangs by the castle gate and which only the true heir can blow.
- Access at any time. The castle is close to a public footpath.