button to main menu   Ford's Description of the Lakes, 1839/1843

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Page 83:-
alms-houses and charitable societies for different purposes; neither is that most useful of all wanting, a dispensary. The late Earl of Egremont, with his wonted munificence, presented the sum of £2000 to the inhabitants, to be disposed of for the benefit of the town. It has accordingly been applied in the erection of a convenient and handsome market-place.
  Cockermouth Castle
The castle stands on a bold elevation, strong by nature, between the Derwent and the Cocker, where it was built soon after the conquest, by Waldieve, first lord of Allerdale. It forms an irregular square, inclosed by strong walls, and defended at the entrance by a portcullis, drawbridge, and moat. On each side of the gate-way leading to the interior court is a deep dungeon. The south-west front, of which much still remains, stood on the brink of the precipice above the rivers, where appears to have been the state-room, and other apartments in the great tower. Under this tower is a vault thirty feet square, lighted by a small grated window, and approached by a descent of twelve steps, the roof upheld up by a single octagonal pillar, which branches out into ribs supporting the groining. This castle was kept in repair till the civil war, when it was reduced by the Parliamentarian forces and dismantled; since then it has lain in ruins, with the exception of the gate-house and the court-house at the east angle, which are kept in repair for the occasional residence of the lord of the manor. There is a bowling-green within
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