Penrith Castle is located in Castle Park in the town of Penrith in Cumbria. Work began on the castle at the end of the 14th Century and was completed by about 1470. The castle’s intended purpose was to defend against Scottish raids.
It is unclear who the specific builder of the castle was, it has been suggested that either William Strickland, Bishop of Carlisle or that Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury was responsible. It has also been suggest that Neville may have utilised the earlier building by Strickland as the core of a new castle. Whoever was responsible for the castle’s construction, it remains unclear.
Penrith Castle’s was in the ownership of the Neville family until 1460 where upon the death of the Earl of Salisbury the castle passed to Richard, Earl of Warwick who was also known as the ‘Kingmaker’. Warwick was killed at the Battle of Barnet and had no male heir to which to pass the castle. The castle reverted to the ownership of the crown until 1471 when it was granted to Richard, Duke of Gloucester, who is better known as King Richard III.
Following on the from the death of Richard (1485), the castle at Penrith remained in the ownership of the crown until it was granted to the Earl of Portland in 1696, the castle was then sold to the Duke of Devonshire in 1787 before later becoming the property of a railway company.
The ruins of the castle are directly opposite the railway station in Penrith and are open all year round.