Photographic survey of the standing remains of Gleaston Castle, Cumbria

Sum awarded: £5,000

The survey will be used to create a 3D model and help us not only understand these little-studied northern border castles of Cumbria, but help in the conservation of this Grade 1 listed site, which has been flagged by English Heritage as at severe risk.

The navigable 3D model (not funded by the CST as part of this project) will allow both academic research of the fabric/architectural construction of the castle, whilst providing a tool that can be used as public access to what is currently an unsafe and inaccessible site.

Whilst antiquarian ground plans exist, the site and fabric of the castle have never been accurately recorded. This new piece of research and investigation will provide an accurate and navigable model of the site. Currently, the remaining towers are too unstable to enter and wall tops are inaccessible. The results obtained using the aerial photographic techniques/a UAV will negate the health and safety risks of entering the towers, whilst providing valuable research data including detailed/accurate geo-referenced images of all elevations of the towers and curtain walls, a record of architectural features- in particular of the inaccessible first and second floors of the towers, information to allow for assessment of the construction and phasing of the castle, and a record of topographic features within the courtyard.

Following collection of the data, the records collected will be used, alongside previous feasibility studies (including extensive historical research) and antiquarian records to compile a Conservation Statement.

The project will be co-ordinated by Louise Martin of The Morecambe Bay Partnership with the aerial record/UAV data and model will be produced by Greenlane Archaeology/Aerial Cam. The Building Conservation Statement will be produced by Greenlane Archaeology/Dr Helen Evans, working in conjunction with Morecambe Bay Partnership and English Heritage.

Morecambe Bay Partnership, using the data presented in these reports, will compile an article for publication. It is intended that a short article (c. 2500 words) will be submitted for inclusion in a peer reviewed journal such as the Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmoreland Antiquities and Archaeology Society.

The survey has been completed and the results of that survey are being analysed. You can see a preliminary results of the photographic survey work can be found here which give you the opportunity to move round the site and see it from different angles:

Gleaston Castle by aerial-cam on Sketchfab

Gleaston Castle Supporting information (72 KB pdf)

Gleaston Castle Conservation Statement Final (39.5MB doc)