The haunted Muncaster Castle, owned by the Pennington Family for over 800 years, is often visited by researchers of supernatural phenomena. The “Tapestry Room” is so creepy that family members didn’t want to sleep there twice. Today, visitors sleep in the comfortably converted old stables.
Muncaster Castle is an admirable and spacious modern structure, having been nearly rebuilt by John Pennington, 1st Baron Muncaster. The principal tower of the ancient mansion has been preserved, but it has lost its original external appearance. The castle is gracefully situated on the side of a hill, north of the Esk, slightly more than one mile east of the Ravenglass railway station. The castle, surrounded by parkland, commands an extensive view of the vale of the Esk, bounded by wild mountain scenery.
Hardknott, Wrynose, and Scafell shape the eastern boundary of Eskdale, which, viewed from the richly wooded hills around Muncaster Castle, exhibits one of the most beautiful views in Cumberland. The park was considerably improved by John Pennington, who planted many thousand trees and who also started the present castle library.
The Luck of Muncaster, which has been preserved here for several centuries, is an ancient glass vessel of the basin kind, about seven inches in diameter, ornamented with some white enameled moldings. According to family tradition, Sir John Pennington, who lived in the reign of Henry VI, entertained the unhappy monarch, who was three times deposed and three times restored, at his mansion to which he had fled from his enemies. On his leaving the castle, Henry VI presented his host with this vessel in hope that they should ever prosper so long as they preserved it unbroken. The castle also contains a large number of original paintings and family portraits.
The church of Muncaster, an ancient structure, dedicated to St. Michael, is located in the park closely adjoining the castle. Being entirely surrounded by trees, it has a picturesque and peculiarly interesting appearance. A church existed on this site since 1140.