Barrow-in-Furness  Civic and Local History Society
History Society Home Page Contact Us Aims & Short History Programme Sponsors History of Barrow Memories/Oral History Local History Research Links



 Piel Castle

There are 40 pele towers still extant eg Arnside, Broughton Dalton, Millom, Muncaster, and Piel. Only a few years after the Great Raid, the Abbot of Furness was granted a licence in 1327  to “”crenellate his dwelling house on the Isle of Fotheray”. (Piel Island).

In 1487 a ten year old boy was crowned King Edward V1 of England in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin. This Pretender to the throne, the son of an Oxford tradesman, was called Lambert Simnel (born 1476 / 7, died after 1534), was declared to be the Earl of Warwick and rightful heir to the English throne. An invasion of England began In June 1487;  when Simnel, John de La Pole, Earl of Lincoln, ( a nephew of Edward 1V), with a mixed force of Yorkshiremen, 1500 German mercenaries, and about 4000 poorly armed Irish kernes (light infantry), sailed up the west coast of England and landed  on Piel Island.   

Lambert’s forces were joined by a party from Broughton Tower led by Sir Thomas Broughton.  From this safe beach head, the army moved eastwards The rebels finally reached Newark 16 June where they were defeated. Lincoln –the real leader of the rebellion was slain, but Lovell fled to Scotland. According to the historian Vergil, Henry V11 spared Simnel’s life, employing him first as a scullion and later as a falconer.


“Almost all that is known about Simnel derives from sources close to the Tudor regime”  (Michael Bennet).

 “Simnel Lambert” by Michael Bennet.

“The Anglica historia of Polydore Vergil”. AD 1485 –1537.

“Dublinia, the story of Medieval Dublin”, by Howard Clarke, Sarah Dent and Ruth Johnson, first published 2002 –see p.17