Appleby Castle
Appleby Castle is in the town of Appleby, Cumbria overlooking the River Eden ( grid reference NY685200). It consists of a 12th century castle keep which is known as Caesar's tower, and a mansion house. These, together with their associated buildings, are set in a courtyard surrounded by curtain walls. Caesar's tower and the mansion house are both a Grade I listed buildings.

The castle was founded by Ranulf le Meschin at the beginning of the 12th century. In about 1170 the square stone keep known as Caesar's Tower was built. The castle was in Royal hands when the Scottish King, William the Lion, invaded the Eden Valley in 1174. The constable of the castle surrendered without a fight. In 1203 the castle was granted to Richard de Vieuxpont by King John. In 1269 it came into the possession of Roger de Clifford and it remained in the ownership of the Clifford family for nearly 400 years. In the mid 17th century, Lady Anne Clifford made the castle her home and she was responsible for the restoration of the castle. On her death the castle passed to the Earls of Thanet. They were responsible for converting the hall block into a classical mansion house. The upper parts of Caesar's tower were altered in the 17th and 18th centuries. The north wall of house and the west part of north wing with the round tower date from the 13th century. The eastern part of the house was built in 1454. The house was partly dismantled in 1648 and was restored by Lady Anne Clifford in 1651–53. The house was largely rebuilt in 1686 and the north-west wing was added in 1695. In the 19th century it was again restored and sash windows were inserted.

Caesar's tower is built in grey stone rubble and ashlar. It is about 80 feet (24 m) high and has four storeys. The main house is in two wings which are at right angles to each other. A semicircular round tower protrudes from the north wall of the north wing and a large square tower is at the south end of the east wing. .

Other features
The gateway to the castle courtyard and two adjoining cottages are listed Grade I. The gateway is in grey stone and battlemented, dating probably from the 17th century. In the grounds of the castle is Lady Anne's Bee-house, which was built by Lady Anne Clifford in the middle of the 17th century. It is a square, stone building in two storeys with a pyramid roof and a door on the lower level. The upper level has a pointed arched window on each of three sides and a door on the fourth side. Two stretches of the sandstone outer walls to the castle dating mostly from the 18th and 19th centuries are listed Grade II as is the battlemented north lodge which dates from the 19th century. Appleby Castle is now a private residence and is not open to the public.


2 photos

Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference and removed a media
    about 6 years ago via