North Country Guides









Poetry & Art

The Hayloft Stable


Young People


Dacre Castle


About this book:

  • ISBN: 095 186 9019 (paperback)

  • Published 1994

  • Price £10.00 + postage

  • 118 pages

  • Illustrated with black and white photographs, line drawings and family trees

About this Book:

Dacre Castle is a rare survivor, a house which has been occupied almost continuously from the 14th century. It has had hard times, but unlike so many of its contemporaries which either fell into ruins or were swallowed up by great houses, it has always found someone to rescue it from decay.

In spite of its name it is a pele. Its function was not primarily strategic; it was intended rather to withstand raiders and to protect the family. Its great days were long ago, but, though few peles proved to be adaptable enough to meet the needs of later centuries, Dacre Castle was an exception, remaining habitable, right up to the present.

This book traces the story of the castle from the time of Bede who mentions the miracle in the monastery at Dacre near the castle through the origins of the Dacre family who took their name from their principal manor. Alexander de Dacre, the crusader, appears in the 12th century and the family develops in and out of royal favour increasing in position and influence.

Dacre Castle and the Dacre family are closely intertwined and the book traces the present building from the licence to crenalate granted in 1307 to William de Dacre to the grand embellishments carried out in 1675 by Thomas Earl of Sussex who described himself, when he matriculated at Oxford at the age of 13, as "Baron Dacre Castell in the North".

Many sources have been consulted including the private papers of the Dacre family which results in a scholarly but readable and entertaining account of a far from ordinary home.


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