Piel Castle
Piel Castle
Piel Castle is a ruined 14th century fortress standing on an island at the entrance to Barrow-in-Furnes harbour. The castle is composed of a vey imposing stone keep, with inner and outer baileys and extensive curtain walls surounded by two moats. It was built in 1327 by the Abbot of Furness as a measure to guard Furness against attack by Scottish raiders or pirates.
The Bishop based his castle on the remains of an earlier simple fort established during the reign of King Stephen (1135-1154). The castle was partly dismantled in 1403, but was rebuilt in 1429. It was left to moulder after that, however, and by 1537 it was in ruins. It was later used as a fortified warehouse for storing grain and wool. The castle remains are generally in good condition, but the easternmost part of the site has fallen into the sea due to the effects of erosion.

A curious tradition persists on Piel Island. If you ask for the honour, the landlord of the Ship Inn can proclaim you a 'Knight of Piel Island'.