Branthwaite Hall

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are major building remains

NameBranthwaite Hall
Alternative NamesBranthait
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishDean

Late C14 or early C15 pele tower with a C16 hall wing, there are also C17 additions. In 1985 the building was being restored and converted into offices by the National Coal Board. Built of rubble and partly rendered with greenslate roofs. (PastScape)

Branthwaite Hall; 'A pele tower of the late fourteenth century. Tudor wing added on the north side, the date 1604 appears on the boss of a label above a .... window to the right of the present front door. C. 1650, the west front was remodelled in the Renaissance style' (Fleming). The tower is 34.5 feet x 27.5 feet in plan and is 39 feet to the top of the battlements. The walls are 4.5 feet thick and are built from; 'Large rubble local stone'. It has a vaulted basement and two floors above, the entrance, being in the NE corner. (PastScape ref. Curwen 1913)

Tower house with hall wing. Late C14 or early C15, with C16 wing; 1604 and 1670's alterations, all for the Skelton family. Extremely thick walls of mixed calciferous and red sandstone rubble, partly rendered. Rebuilt graduated greenslate roofs, that of tower within parapets; brick ridge chimney stack. Square 4-storey tower with 3-storey, 6-bay hall and 3-storey stair projection. Tower has many original openings and loops, some blocked and others with C16 and C17 enlargements. Stone spouts beneath battlemented parapets. Hall has 1670's fenestration (believed to be the work of William Thackeray) replacing blocked 2-light stone-mullioned windows; sash windows with glazing bars in stone architraves under ground-floor cornices and upper-floor segmental pediments, one of the windows being a blocked C17 doorway. Left C19 sash windows in stone surrounds. Rear has central stair projection. Left C19 plank door in wooden surround. 2-, 3- and 4-light Tudor windows under hoodmoulds, some blocked and one with label dated 1604. Blocked 2-light attic windows. Stair projection has 3-light Tudor window. C17 right pent extension

Interior of tower has ground-floor double-vaulted chambers. Newel staircase in angle of wall for full height to roof. Mural chambers in upper-floor rooms. Pointed-arched doorways on 2 floors between hall and tower. Hall range has blocked C16 stone fireplaces on both floors. newel staircase in stair projection for full 3 storeys. Owned by the National Coal Board who are, at time of resurvey in Summer 1985, about to carry out extensive and sympathetic renovation for use as offices. Otherwise at the time of survey derelict and unoccupied. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Stated to a scheduled monument in the PastScape record and the listed building report but not in the National Heritage List. Presumably descheduled, at some time after 1995, as felt adequately protected by listed building status although the area north of the hall, which was added to the scheduled area in 1984, would now not be protected.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 1 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 ReferenceNY065253
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  • Tyson, B., 1984, 'Work of Wm Thackeray' Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society Vol. 28 p. 61-92
  • Humphreys, W.M., 1948, 'Proceedings' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 48 p. 194-5 online copy
  • 1925, 'Proceeding' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 25 p. 352 online copy
  • Collingwood, W.G., 1923, 'An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Cumberland' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 23 p. 257 online copy