windermere panoramic
 
Muncaster Castle GardensRavenglass
& Owl Centre
Ravenglass
Cumbria CA18 1RD
 
   
Muncaster Castle near Ravenglass on the west Cumbrian coast is famous for its Owl Centre, collections of azaleas and rhododendrons in a woodland setting, landscaped gardens and fabulous views of the Lake District fells and mountains.
 
The Castle has been owned by the same family since 1208 and looks old with crenellated towers at each end.  It is mainly 14th century with 19th century remodelling.  It has an extensive collection of 16th and 17th century furniture, paintings, family portraits and memorabilia including the precious  Luck of Muncaster’ cup.
 
The ‘Luck of Muncaster’
This is an exquisite, delicate, mazer-shaped glass drinking vessel acquired in 1463 from King Henry VI.   The small crystal bowl has a greenish tinge and is decorated with pale mauve and white enamel spots and gold.  The vessel is reputed to have come from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and been given to Henry as a Holy Relic.
 
The story of the bowl or cup is that King Henry VI sought refuge at Muncaster Castle whilst fleeing from defeat at the Battle of Hexham in 1463.  His host was Sir John Pennington who sheltered him until it was safe to travel on. As a mark of his gratitude the King gave the bowl to his host with the words: “Your family shall prosper so long as they preserve this glass unbroken.”
 
The cup underwent many adventures, being buried to keep it safe and being dropped when dug up again, then later on being thrown down the castle well but it always survived unbroken.
 
(I am indebted to G J Monson-Fitzjohn’s book: Drinking Vessels of Bygone Days for this information).
 
World Owl Centre
Owls are classed as a Bird of Prey and Muncaster has one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of these remarkable birds.  There are more than 40 different types of owls ranging from bizarre fish owls to tiny pygmy owls no bigger than a sparrow.
 
The centre has a number of wild owls that have been rehabilitated after injury but can no longer return to the wild.  These tame birds can be handled and will show off their flying capabilities at the ‘Meet the Birds’ demonstration – a chance to get up close and personal with an owl.  The wild herons are also fed once a day at ‘Herons Happy Hour’.
 
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here:
 
Opening Times, Admission Price & Accessibility
 
Plan Your Visit
Facilities
Refreshments, picnic area, MeadowVole Maze, playground; toilets.
 
Accommodation
The Castle offers Bed and Breakfast accommodation which includes acces to the gardens and the Owl Centre.  Visit the website for more information.
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone    +44 (0)1229 717 614
Mail    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Getting There
The Castle Website has good 'Getting There' details and map at  Web:  Muncaster Castle 'Getting There'
 
Google Map - Muncaster Castle Gardens and Owl Centre