Pictures of England


Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

Colchester Town Hall

Colchester a Historic City in the county of Essex

Lake Rudyard, Nr Leek, Staffordshire

Rudyard in the county of Staffordshire

Pictures of Piel Castle

a Castle in the town of Barrow in Furness, in the county of Cumbria

About Piel Castle

The last foreign invasion of England took place in 1486 when Irish and Flemish supporters of Lambert Simnel landed at Piel in a desperate bid to seize the crown from Henry VII. Lambert Simnel, who was impersonating the imprisoned Earl of Warwick, was captured and given a menial job working as a servant in the Royal household.

Barrow Harbour was important, the gap between the mainland and the southern end of the Isle of Walney, Piel Island, was ideally suited as a place to build a defensive fortress. A castle had been built there as early as the 12th-century after King Stephen had granted the island to the monks of Furness Abbey who were in need of a place of safety sufficiently strong enough to keep out border raiders. The monks also built a warehouse for the merchandise traded from the abbey, wine, wool and food. Parts of the ruined
warehouse can still be seen.

Early in the 14th-century, by the gracious permission of Edward III, Furness Abbey held a license to crenelate the tower. A new Motte and Bailey castle was built with a three storey keep. It is the romantic ruins of this later castle that we see today.

The island of Piel is a lonely, remote place with a haunted atmosphere which speaks of its turbulent, historic past. It has been a place for sanctuary for monks, Kings and smugglers! Such is the variance of history. William Wordsworth visited in 1805, after a stay of four weeks he wrote evocatively of the island - as 'a rugged pile' 'thy form sleeping on a glassy sea' these words perfectly depict this beautiful swirl of land, thrusting above a silver sea, spread by the ruins of a castle, lost in the long ago mists of time.

Today visitors can enjoy exploring the castle ruins, take a drink at the ancient Ship Inn and admire the few 18th-century cottages straggled around the island. Piel makes a memorable, evocative visit - one that is not to be missed.

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Stain Glass Window.

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