Muncaster – Monument to Henry VI

Location : Ravenglass. Ordnance Survey – SD 111975
 

 
Nearly a mile north east of Muncaster Castle is a monument to Henry VI. It is a three-storeyed octagonal tower with an octagonal spire, probably built in the 18th century.
 
It is said to mark the place where shepherds found Henry VI wandering the Fells after the battle of Towton in 1461.
 
Tradition has it that Henry VI arrived at nearby Irton Hall and sought shelter. Being refused by the then owner, Irton a Yorkist, King Henry spent the night under the great oak in front of the house, which still stands and is hence called ‘The Kings Oak’.
 
The next day Henry VI fled over the fell to Muncaster where Sir John Pennington, whose home Muncaster Castle was, gave Henry food and shelter for as long as he requested it. In gratitude, Henry gave Sir John a glass drinking bowl and said it was given to the family with a prayer that they might prosper for as long as the glass remained unbroken. The glass – known as ‘The Luck of Muncaster’ remains unbroken to this day and the family has prospered.
 
Hanging in the bedroom at the Castle that was used by King Henry is a painting of him kneeling before an altar, with the glass bowl in his right hand.
 

 
Aerial photo by Simon Ledingham.
 
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