Greystoke Castle is in the village of Greystoke
Greystoke is a village and civil parish on the edge of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England, about west of Penrith. The village centres on a green surrounded by stone houses and cottages.-Buildings:...
8 kilometres (5 mi) west of Penrith
Penrith was an urban district between 1894 and 1974, when it was merged into Eden District.The authority's area was coterminous with the civil parish of Penrith although when the council was abolished Penrith became an unparished area....
in the county of Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...
in northern England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
In 1069, after the Norman conquest the English landlord Ligulf of Greystoke was re-granted his land and he built a wooden tower surrounded by a pale (or pele). The first stone structure on the site was built in 1129 by Ivo, his grandson. The building grew to become a large pele tower
Peel towers are small fortified keeps or tower houses, built along the English and Scottish borders in the Scottish Marches and North of England, intended as watch towers where signal fires could be lit by the garrison to warn of approaching danger...
and in the 14th century after William de Greystoke obtained a royal licence to castellate it, the castle was further enlarged.
In 1571 the castle was in the ownership of Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk
Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk, KG, Earl Marshal was an English nobleman.Norfolk was the son of the poet Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. He was taught as a child by John Foxe, the Protestant martyrologist, who remained a lifelong recipient of Norfolk's patronage...
and Earl Marshal
Earl Marshal is a hereditary royal officeholder and chivalric title under the sovereign of the United Kingdom used in England...
of England through his marriage into the Dacre family, who had been the previous owners. The Howards were Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...
s and Royalists
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...
and as a consequence during the Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...
the castle was laid waste by Parliamentarians
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...
under General Lambert
John Lambert (general)
John Lambert was an English Parliamentary general and politician. He fought during the English Civil War and then in Oliver Cromwell's Scottish campaign , becoming thereafter active in civilian politics until his dismissal by Cromwell in 1657...
The castle was enlarged and altered in 1789. Then between 1838 and 1848 the castle was re-built to a design by Anthony Salvin
Anthony Salvin was an English architect. He gained a reputation as an expert on medieval buildings and applied this expertise to his new buildings and his restorations...
, incorporating the older structures including the pele tower, and the estates were developed by Charles Howard into a modern farm. In 1868 the house caught fire and many treasures and works of art were lost. However, the castle was rebuilt under Henry Howard, again by Salvin.
During the Second World War the castle and estate were requisitioned by the army as a tank drivers' training area. The castle itself became a prisoner of war camp. Consequently much damage was done to both the building and the estate during this period. In 1950 Stafford Howard inherited the estate and began a further period of restoration. It is now managed by his son, Neville.
The castle is not open to the public, but is used as a venue for corporate hospitality, outdoor management training, and is licensed for civil weddings.