Hampsfield Hall Pele

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are masonry footings remains

NameHampsfield Hall Pele
Alternative NamesHamsfell
Historic CountryLancashire
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishBroughton East

On the hill-side, about 60 yds. above the house, are the foundations of an older building, a portion of which in the form of a tower, (In Yates and Billing's map of the county in 1786 this ruined tower is shown.) measuring 36 ft. by 23 ft., was standing till about the year 1814, when it was pulled down by the tenant in the absence of the owner and the materials used in the erection of new farm buildings. (VCH 1914)

"Hampsfield Hall...was built by William Thornburgh in the place of an older house and Peel Tower which were situated about 60 yds higher up the hill, where their foundations can still be seen. It was sold by William Thornburgh to Robert Curwen, of Cark Hall, and Robt. Rawlinson his nephew and heir in ..1636 and was described in the deed as "the new house then lately built" and it has since descended with the rest of the Cark estate." (TLCAS 1885)

Almost the whole of Broughton was held as part of the manor of Cartmel by the customary tenants of the Canons....The only estate called a manor was that of Hampsfield originally Hamsfell. The tenure is older than the foundation of the priory for Henry II granted to Simon son of Hakeman his seneschal in Cartmel, the whole moiety of Hampsfield, which Uckeman his father had formerly held; a rent of 1 mark was to be paid by equal portions at the four terms. The next tenants known had taken a surname from their manor of which a settlement was made in 1314 by John de Hampsfield...." (VCH 1914)

HAMPSFIELD HALL is as described by the VCH. The roof is mainly modern but an area of slates of stone remains at the south end. West doors and windows are modern insertions, but several two, three and four-light mullioned windows remain in the east, north and west walls. There are also several small square-headed windows extant some blocked-up. Modern additions have been made against the east and north walls

MR CROWE, the tenant, showed the Investigator a small cupboard in the kitchen which bears the intials and date, 'WTT 1687' upon the wooden door. He confirmed the name and spelling of the Hall correct as given by OS Survey, and stated that he knew nothing of the earthenware pipes referred to by TLCAS. The foundations of the Tower are marked by a rectangular turf-covered mound of earth and stones, 14.0m N-S by 9.0m E-W. The banks are 3.0-4.0m. wide, with a maximum height of 0.5m. A bank leads from the NW corner in a north-westerly direction linking up with the turf-covered foundations of what was probably a steading measuring 11.0m. by 4.0m. It is also orientated N-S, and appears to have a sub-division near to the N end. The banks of earth and store are 2.0-3.0m wide, and are of a maximum height of 0.2m. In between there are fragmentary banks, traces of what may have been two more structures. Broken ground exists close-by on the south west side (F1 ASP 09-SEP-57). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Few such towers were built in isolation and they usually had attached or nearby hall blocks and other ancillary buildings. It may be some relics of such buildings exist within Hampsfield Hall.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSD395804
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 97 (slight)
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 371
  • Gibson, Leslie Irving, 1977, Lancashire Castles and Towers (Dalesman Books)
  • Farrer, Wm and Brownbill, J.(eds), 1914, VCH Lancashire Vol. 8 p. 278-80 online transcription
  • Stockdale, J., 1872, Annales Caermoelenses or Annals of Cartmel (Ulverston: William Kitchen) p. 470 online copy


  • Collingwood, W.G., 1926, 'An Inventory of the Ancient Monuments of Westmorland and Lancashire North-of-the-Sands' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 26 p. 39 online copy
  • 1894-5, 'Excursions and Proceedings' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 13 p. 298 (excursion report) online copy
  • 1891-3, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London Vol. 14 p. 231 (on earthenware pipes)
  • 1885, Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society Vol. 3 p. 219
  • 1875, 'Excursions and Proceedings' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 2 p. xv online copy