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Piel Castle

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Source: Hchc2009

Copyright: CC 3.0

Piel Castle, also known as Fouldry Castle or the Pile of Fouldray, is a castle situated on the south-eastern point of Piel Island, off the coast of the Furness Peninsula in north-west England. Built in the early-14th century by John Cockerham, the Abbot of neighbouring Furness Abbey, it was intended to oversea the trade through the local harbour and to protect against Scottish raids. The castle was built using stones from the local beach, and featured a large keep with surrounding inner and outer baileys. It was used as a base by the Yorkist pretender Lambert Simnel in 1487, but by 1534 it had fallen into ruin and passed into the hands of the Crown. Sea erosion began to cause significant damage to the castle in the early 19th century. In the 1870s the castle's owner, the Duke of Buccleuch, carried out extensive restoration work and erected outworks to protect it against further damage from the sea. In 1920 the castle was given to the town of Barrow-in-Furness and is now in the care of English Heritage.
Piel Castle was built on Piel Island, overlooking the deep water port of Piel Harbour outside of Barrow Haven, now called Barrow-in-Furness. There may have been an earlier 12th-century fortification on the island, possibly built by the local monks in the reign of King Stephen, but this is uncertain. The castle was built by the John Cockerham, the Abbot of Furness Abbey around 1327, when Edward III gave the abbey a licence to crenellate on the site. Comprising a keep with an inner and outer bailey, the castle was intended to oversee the trade through the harbour, and to provide defence, as the Abbey had faced raids from Scotland in 1316 and 1322.


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