Piel Castle from Walney Island in Cumbria, England - May 2012
Piel Castle also known as Fouldry (or Fouldrey) Castle, is a castle situated on the south-eastern point of Piel Island, 1 km off the southern tip of the Furness Peninsula, protecting the deep water harbour of Barrow-in-Furness in north west England.(grid reference SD233636).
A wooden tower was built on the island in 1212, when King John allowed the monks of Furness Abbey to store provisions there. The abbey engaged in much trade through Piel Harbour and further fortified the site soon after the Scottish invasions of 1316 and 1322. In 1327 Edward III gave Furness Abbey a license to crenellate the tower and a motte and bailey castle was built. It was dismantled in 1403 but then partly rebuilt some years later. However it was in ruins by the 16th century. Some renovations took place in the mid-19th century. There is also a popular myth which sates that Piel Castle is linked to the nearby Furness Abbey via a tunnel.
The castle was a concentric fortification with a keep and three towers surrounded by a ditch. A well preserved keep and two baileys remain today.
Today the castle is managed by English Heritage.
Piel Castle is sometimes confused with Peel Castle, located on the Isle of Man, some thirty miles to the west. This often occurs in reference to the William Wordsworth poem that describes Piel, but is based upon a spelling of the Castle as 'Peele'.