Hudswell Tower

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameHudswell Tower
Alternative NamesCulloden Tower; Cumberland Temple
Historic CountryYorkshire
Modern AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
1974 AuthorityNorth Yorkshire
Civil ParishRichmond

Banqueting house, built by John Yorke in 1746, possibly to the designs of Daniel Garrett. It is of two storeys, octagonal in plan and constructed of ashlar. It stands on, or close to, the site of Hudswell Tower or Peel, which was built before 1354 but demolished by the 1730s. Otherwise known as the Culloden Tower, built circa 1746 to commemorate that battle, on the site of an earlier pele tower, of which the rectangular base in rubble may be part. This now forms an undercroft, used as a barn with a cellar below. Above is a two-storeyed tower in ashlar, octagonal, and joined to the rectangular base by broaches. Purchased by the Landmark Trust in 1981 and restored by them. Also formerly known as the Cumberland Temple, or The Temple. Originally a banqueting house built by John Yorke I in 1746 possibly to the designs of Daniel Garrett and stands on, or close to the site of Hudswell Tower or Peel, dated before 1354 but demolished by the 1730s. Clarkson is the authority for Culloden Tower being built on the remains of Hudswell Tower but recent research has failed to find any further evidence to corroborate this. (PastScape)

The Temple or Cumberland Tower was built in commemoration of the battle of Culloden, and stands apparently on the site of the old Hudswell Tower, said to have been built in the reign of Edward II by William de Hudswell (Christ. Clarkson, op. cit. 328. For the position of Hudswell Tower see R. Harman, Plan of the South Prospect of Richmond, 1724.). (VCH)

In the mid-14th century a local businessman called William de Hudswell built a corn mill on the bank of the river swale, to the south of the site, known as the Green Mill. This was a controversial move as the two corn mills already in the area were protected by ‘soke’, a medieval manorial custom preventing competition. Due to this the legality of the mill was challenged by a Bégard monk called Geoffrey

Despite this the Green Mill, which operated as both a corn mill and a fulling mill, continued in use up until 1765 when Thomas Yorke wished to stop commercial users passing through his landscaped gardens. Around the same time, Hudswell also built a peele tower on the high ground to the west of the site. Both of these structures can be identified on the insert plan of Richmond on Speeds 1610 map of Yorkshire (Figure 3, numbers 16 and 17) (Hatcher 2000). (Archaeological Services, 2005)

Gatehouse Comments

PastScape cite Clarkson without a page number but Gatehouse can not find anything about the peel tower in Clarkson. The VCH cites Clarkson p. 328 but again this page does not mention Hudswell Tower. It is unusual for a VCH to have errors of citation but this seems to be so (I have checked the BHO transcription against copy and the BHO transcription, at the given link, is a true transcription). Speed's map of Richmond does definitely show a tower like structure on a hill the the west of Richmond and above Green Mill numbered and named 'Hudswell tower', this is entirely consistent with a location under or near the Culloden Tower. The historic evidence for William de Hudswell building a mill is clear, the evidence he built the tower shown on Speed's map appears to be conjectural, although not entirely unreasonable. The Gothick Culloden Tower is now run by the Landmark Trust as a holiday let.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNZ167007
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 53° 39' 30.15" Longitude -1° 47' 10.69"

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Photo by Philip Davis. All Rights Reserved

() above

Latitude 53° 39' 30.15" Longitude -1° 47' 10.69"

View full Sized Image

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  • Hatcher, J., 2000, The History of Richmond, North Richmondshire: from the earliest times to the year 2000 (Pickering: Blackthorn Press) p. 46
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1914, VCH Yorkshire: North Riding Vol. 1 p. 20 online transcription
  • Speight, H., 1897, Romantic Richmondshire p. 52 online copy
  • Clarkson, C., 1821, History of Richmond (privately published) p. 328 online copy


  • Speed, John, 1611-12, The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britain online copy)


  • Archaeological Services, 2005, York Square car park, Richmond, North Yorkshire archaeological desk-based assessment on behalf of Richmondshire District Council p. 4 online copy