District: South Ribble
Name: Penwortham Castle.
Description: Motte and bailey castle of possible Pre-Conquest date, located in the parish churchyard.
Penwortham Castle, named in the Domesday Survey as existing in 1086, appears to have been allowed to fall into ruins after 1232. It stands at the end of a high promontory 70 yards north-north-west of Penwortham Church, within the area of the extended graveyard. The motte is conical in form, slightly oval in plan with a diameter of 120ft. at it's longest base, and 25ft. across the summit. No ditch now divides the motte from the plateau which evidently formed the bailey. It has been suggested that there was a second stockaded bailey on a lower plateau (on the north side ?). Apart from general wear with regard to the slopes, the east side of the mount has been eroded by the river.
A fairly careful excavation in 1856 revealed at a depth of 11ft. below the summit of the motte, the boulder pavement, timbers and wattling of what seems to have been a circular palisaded dwelling divided into several chambers, and erected on a low motte. A broken central oak post was still standing to a height of 5ft. The problem yet to be solved is whether the first mound with the remains upon it was the keep of the important little castle known to have been erected shortly prior to 1086.