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BOWES CASTLE

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A ruined castle, whose present remains comprisie a Norman keep of circa 1171-87, foundations of a forebuilding and a moat. The castle was constructed on the site of a former Roman fort, which had probably been built to guard the Stainmore pass route. The castle was originally part of the estates known as the "Honour of Richmond" but passed to the crown in 1171. An earlier timber castle may have been initially built by Alan of Brittany in the 1130s. The castle was rebuilt by Henry II: in 1173-4, the castle was unsuccessfully beseiged by the forces of William of Scotland. Later the castle was granted to other lords but reverted to royal ownership in 1471. The unpopular grant of the castle to John de Scargill by Edward II in 1322 was met by a revolt of the local tenants who beseiged and took the castle. The castle was reported as being in ruins in 1325, and was said to have been dismantled in the 17th century. Hutchinson, who visited the site in 1776, stated that it was surrounded by a deep ditch with a platform to the south (this description of the topography is a reference to the Roman Fort, see record 17561). It incorporates some Roman masonry. The moat, now dry, survives only around parts of the west and south sides; it was cleaned out earlier in the 20th century and is now 2.4 metres deep. The keep survives: this is rectangular in plan. It is built of ashlar facing and a sandstone rubble core. The keep would orginally have comprised three storeys with a first floor chamber and hall. The site is in the care of English Heritage.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.