It does feel pretty remote in the Eden Valley between Garsdale head and Kirkby Stephen. The brooding fells in the distance add to the unworldly feel.
Pendragon Castle sits close to the river, and is said to have been built by King Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon. It's more likely that a previous wooden structure was built on that site at that time.
There are plenty of stories associated with this atmospheric place: that the Roman's first built a fort here (a Roman coin was found but no other evidence); that Uther Pendragon tried to re-route the river Eden to provide a moat, that Saxon invaders poisoned the water in the well and killed 100 of Pendragon's men.
According to its Grade I listing, the fortified tower dates from the 12th century. It was abandoned after a raid by a Scottish army set fire to it, rebuilt in the 14th century and burnt down again in the 16th century. Pendragon's heyday was probably in the 17th century when Lady Anne Clifford (who also owned Skipton Castle) restored it and added stables, a brew and bake house. She sounds like a remarkable woman, arguing her right to the castle for 40 years, and continuing to visit the castle until 1676 when she died at the great age of 86.
Now there is enough of the building for it to still be recognisable as a castle, and it's worth visiting not just for its history but the sense that you might have just stepped into a Famous Five mystery, full of the promise of adventure. Horsemen may yet still appear out of the mist to search for King Arthur's relatives.
Pendragon Castle is privately owned but access is permitted so long as you take care not to damage the building or take risks around the castle as parts are still in perilous condition despite some restoration.
All images thanks to Paul Harris.