Notes: Located within the grounds of the church of St John the Bapist which is sign-posted from the B6254 which runs through Arkholme. On-road parking is possible near the church.
WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?
The remains of a motte set within the grounds of a church. Trace outlines of the bailey can be seen in the surrounding configuration of roads and buildings. Probably the best preserved of the Lune Valley mottes.
One of a number of motte-and-bailey fortifications established along the line of the Lune Valley, Arkholme Castle was constructed in the wake of the Norman Conquest and was intended to stamp the conquerors authority over the area. Part of the wider manor of Whittington it was probably built by to Ivo de Taillbois, Baron of Kendal.
HISTORY OF ARKHOLME CASTLE
Arkholme Castle was one of a number of fortifications erected shortly after the Norman Conquest in order to control the Lune valley. Originally sited at a crossing point over the river archaeological investigation has suggested it may have initially been configured as a ringwork fort. If so, as is obvious by the remains, it was later upgraded to a motte-and-bailey structure.
Prior to the Norman Conquest the Arkholme formed part of the manor of Whittington which was held by Earl Tostig, brother to King Harold II. After Tostig's death at Battle of Stamford Bridge and the subsequent Norman invasion, William I granted his lands to Ivo de Taillbois, Baron of Kendal.
Throughout Arkholme Castle's history its buildings remained of timber construction and by the late twelfth century it had become militarily redundant. The castle was abandoned this time although the settlement, with its fertile agricultural land, remained occupied to the present day.