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Lower Allithwaite, The Old Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bishop's Tithe Allotment

In the civil parish of Lower Allithwaite.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Lancashire North of the Sands.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD40968193
Latitude 54.22951° Longitude -2.90578°

Lower Allithwaite, The Old Castle has been described as a Uncertain but is rejected as such.

There are no visible remains.


An area of Bishop''s Tithe allotments known as ''the old castle'' on the 1851 OS Map, suggesting the location of a castle or similar structure at one time. This is no longer named on a modern OS Map. (Lake District National Park HER)

These illusive remains are to be found perched precariously at the summit of Eller How, high above the A590, some six miles West of Levens. The larger area is known as Newton area of South Lakeland that gives its name to two hamlets less than a mile apart...High and Low Newton. The heights are also known as Dixon Heights, with a right of way passing a few yards to the West of the tower's now sorry remains. According to the Cumbria Action Group, the ruins can be attributed to George Webster of Kendal, the town's famous architect and marble cutter, who owned land at Eller How a few hundred feet below Dixon Heights. He built the house at Eller How in 1827, so it's likely that the folly was built soon after this, probably as a summer house or a 'quiet' retreat. From here, the Webster family would have had excellent and unspoilt views across to Witherslack to the North East, Grange to the South and Hampsfell to the South West. The ruins are not linked in any historical way to the area a few hundred yards to the North, shown on maps dated 1851, as The Old Castle, but it may have been on George's mind to build the folly here, on or near the site of the Old Castle....whatever that name may have once applied to. Interestingly....also shown on this map, to the North of the Summer House, there is another site, clearly labelled as Tower. Obviously some more research of this whole area is needed, including a field take some more photos and to take a good look at the remains of the tower.
All documentation (what little there is) point to these ruins being the remains of a summer house or folly. The area to the North of the tower (Dixon Heights) is still called the Bishop's Tithe Allotments on ordnance survey maps. More research is needed to find out what this area referred to, although my best guess is that it was connected with nearby Cartmel Priory in some way....possibly Furness abbey even!! (Matthew Emmott)

Can be safely rejected as the site of a medieval fortification.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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