button to main menu  Gents Mag 1907 part 1 p.172

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Gentleman's Magazine 1907 part 1 p.172
of members of the noble family to which it was given as a token of the gratitude of the fugitive King Henry.
The first of the Penningtons to be elevated to the peerage was Sir John, fifth baronet, who was created Baron Muncaster in 1783. It is said that when he entered into possession of Muncaster Castle on his elevation to the peerage, he found it still surrounded by a moat and defended by a portcullis. The house was in such a ruinous condition that he was obliged to rebuild it almost entirely, with the exception of the pele tower.
The present Lord Muncaster fought in the Crimea: he is a worthy representative of the powerful ancestors who have ruled the valley of the Esk since the days of King Henry II. Their great influence has always been wielded for good. His domain is a notable one, full of antiquities and archaeological interest, for it includes Ravenglass, Walls Castle and Hardknott, a country saturated with memories and traditions not only of the Romans but of the Norse conquerors, and of those mysterious folk who inhabited our land before History had birth, the people of the Stone Age. On the moor near Devoke Water are the remains of a prehistoric village; barrows, tumuli, and standing stones are dotted here and there; one never knows what will be found. Fortunately, Lord Muncaster is interested in matters archaeological, and is the President of the Antiquarian Society of Cumberland and Westmoreland, and the different relics of Roman occupation that have been discovered from time to time are preserved in safety at Muncaster.
It is probable the "Hardknott Castle" was not a popular post with the officers whose duty it was to take charge of the desolate fort perched high on the shoulder of Hardknott, a craggy mountain looking over the upper valley of the Esk to Sca Fell.
The camp can be traced easily to-day, and it is very interesting. It is some 500 feet above the river, and was evidently built to guard the road which winds on its right over the pass away to Keswick, Ambleside, and thence to York. Some ten miles to the westward this
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