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Thurland Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Thusland; Thorslond; Fyrrelande

In the civil parish of Cantsfield.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of Lancashire.
1974 county of Lancashire.
Medieval County of Lancashire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD61087307
Latitude 54.15197° Longitude -2.59739°

Thurland Castle has been described as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.

Description

The original Thurland Castle built in the 14th century was largely destroyed after the siege of 1643. During the 19th century it was extensively rebuilt and probably incorporates some of the earlier structure (VCH; listing report)
The exterior of the castle appears purely 19th century except for the main door which is earlier, possibly 15th century. What has previously been described as the dungeon is probably part of the former gatehouse (F1 JB 24-FEB-71).

Thurland Castle is located on low ground just north of the confluence of the river Greta with the Lune. This site is perhaps the least likely ... to have supported an earthwork castle. It comprises a circuit of walls and towers, surrounded by a moat and, true to its 14th century origins, it does not posses a freestanding keep. Sir Thomas Tunstall obtained a licence to fortify the site from Henry IV but the building was besieged and at least partially demolished during the Civil War of 1643. The ruins were rebuilt as a country house in 1809 and 1829 but following a large fire was extensively rebuilt in the 1880s. The castle has recently been refurbished and converted into a series of luxury apartments. (Lancashire County Council)

THURLAND CASTLE is situated about half a mile to the west of Cantsfield village and about a quarter of a mile to the south of Tunstall, and stands on a low natural mound completely encircled by a moat about 25 ft. wide filled with water. The site, which is at the foot of the slope of a hill between the River Greeta on the south and the Cant Beck on the north, was originally a defensive one, the castle effectively commanding the whole of its surroundings. The building appears to have been originally erected in the 14th century, and early in the 15th century Sir Thomas Tunstall obtained a licence to crenellate the house. Very little of this building, however, now remains, it having been left in a more or less ruinous state after the siege in 1643, when the interior was burned and a considerable portion of the house destroyed. (VCH 1914)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1402 Oct 14 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

The Tunstall's must have had a manor house here before the C14 but Thurland castle appears to be a new foundation within a deer park and the older house may have been the church (at SD614739) or, perhaps, where Tunstall Hall now stands (SD608734). There remains a question as to the reason that Thurland Castle is surronded by a circular moat rather than the more typical (fashionable) square moat. Although the area is generally flat the castle is placed on a slight hillock and the moat may just refelct this topography.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated before 1 February 2016

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