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.