Saturday, 8 November 2008

Castles in Wensleydale.

This area is steeped in history - we are not all that far from Border Country and there are plenty of fortified manor houses and castles which date back to the days when marauders rampaged through the countryside. I have been photographing them over the past few months, so I thought I would put one on to my blog now and again.
The first one is Pendragon Castle.
This castle goes back into antiquity. In legend it was thought to be the home of Uther Pendragon, the father of King Arthur. How old it is nobody really knows but it does stand on the side of a prehistoric route through the Dales, later to become a Roman marching route and later still Lady Anne Clifford Highway.
Lady Ann Clifford was born in 1590. In those days estates passed only down through the male line and as she had no brothers, her father's estates passed to her uncles.
When they died, with two unhappy marriages behind her, at the age of fifty two she set about claiming these estates back and once they were in her care she began to restore them to their former glory. By the mid sixteen hundreds she was living part of the year at Skipton Castle and part at Pendragon.
There is a small hamlet nearby called Outhgill (a Norse word meaning "Desolate Ravine") but apart from that the moorland is empty and very bleak in Winter. The castle stands on a slight rise overlooking Mallerstang Edge at the top of Wensleydale.
Nearby lies the source of two rivers - one, the Ure, flows into the North Sea and the other, the Eden, into the Irish Sea, so the castle stands on what would have been an important vantage point.
Now, as you can see from the photograph, it is a picturesque ruin populated by nothing more than a few sheep seeking shelter.

19 comments:

Janice Thomson said...

Gosh the tales those walls could tell! Much enjoyed the info Weaver about these ancient ruins.

The Weaver of Grass said...

We have a huge number of such ruins round us - abbeys, castles etc. I shall put more on in the future Janice.

Reader Wil said...

That's why I like ruines so much: they hide secrets and would tell many stories of the past if only they could speak.

Gramma Ann said...

What a thrill to explore the ruins of an old castle! I always enjoy reading the information you provide along with the photo.

If you would like to delete the picasa insignia at the bottom of your photo, when you edit your picture, click on the picasa insignia and then hit backspace and it deletes it. If you already know this and don't want to delete it, that is fine also.

Reader Wil said...

To answer your question, my grandson was soon recovered and the photo in the header was a sunrise indeed!

Dominic Rivron said...

I'll keep my eye out for this next time I'm walking near Mallerstang. I've often been there, but have never noticed it.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

It must have been a lovely home when Lady Ann lived there. Such a beautiful setting! You are so fortunate to live in such a picturesque place!

Annie Wicking said...

How wonderful you've taken us off on another journey around your beautiful countryside, Weaver.

Best wishes, my dear friend.

Annie

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes reader wil - when I walk up steps that have been in place for a thousand years, I get a sense of who might have walked them before.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks gramma ann - I shall try the picasa thing now as the insignia is irritating. I try to get my picture in with my post but it doesn't always work. I am a bit of a greenhorn where computers are concerned but I am learning fast!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Pamela, I suppose it was a lovely home, although it is so very bleak and there would have been no glass in the windows in those days - the nearby village is not called "desolate ravine" for nothing. I expect they wore layers and layers of clothes - and Lady Ann must have been very hardy for all the dashing about she did!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad you enjoyed it annie - I am still having trouble leaving a comment on your site but I do enjoy reading it.

Annie Wicking said...

My dear Weaver your comments are coming through okay... I'm so pleased you enjoy reading my postings.

Best wishes,
Annie

Crafty Green Poet said...

good to read this history, the photo is lovely too.

Robyn said...

I would love to explore! Who knows what secrets lie within those walls.

eba said...

Beautiful and haunting.

Dreadnought said...

This post reminded me of some of the walks I've had in the dales and other places. What to us now appears to be desolate countryside was once a very busy place filled with people trying to make a living in the most unbelievable places.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Dreadnought - I am sure you know that this was a big lead mining area - so you are absolutely right about a lot of people trying to scratch a living - often in terrible conditions.

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