Bewcastle Castle: A ruined Norman castle with Roman origins.
This evening, I am posting information on the Norman castle at Bewcastle in Cumbria, England. This castle was built in 1092 using stone from the former Roman fort on the same site and lasted until 1641 when it was destroyed during the English Civil War. A summary history is as follows:
- The first known structure on the site was ‘Fanum Cocidi’ an outlying fort connected to the Hadrian’s Wall defence system built by the Romans in the 2nd century AD. Distance is about 7 miles north of Birdoswald Fort on Hadrian's Wall. The Roman site was hexagonal and extended to six acres. It was abandoned in the 4th century.
- The site remained important after departure of the Romans. The name Bewcastle is actually derived from a mix of Old Scandinavian and Old English (reflecting immigration patterns) and means ‘Roman fort within which shelters were situated.’ The Roman site was effectively occupied by squatters.
In the nearby churchyard is an information room providing a summary history of Bewcastle from prehistoric times onwards. Also in the churchyard can be found the ancient Bewcastle Cross which dates from around AD700-AD800.