Melmerby Hall

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameMelmerby Hall
Alternative Namesla tourre de Melmorby
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishOusby

The hall range is late C16 according to surveys of the building in 1930 and 1994. A 'fort' (probably tower) is recorded here in 1315 when it was to be provided with men and victuals and safely guarded. This tower was probably demolished and replaced by the 1794 wing. (PastScape–ref. Perriam and Robinson)

Gatehouse Comments

In about 1322 it is recorded that 'John de Denum kept a garrison of twelve men at his tower of Melmerby', however, see King (2007) about this expenses claim. John was petitioning for a garrison of 12 men but had previous kept the tower with an unspecified force. In effect he was petitioning for a sum in excess of £200 p.a. (much over his own expected annual income). The endorsement was 'Take advice on any marriage, wardship or farm and certify to the king therein, and he by good council will make any award by which he has the power to better keep (the tower) to the saving of the land.' This does not suggest that the petition was certainly granted and the tower garrisoned although it seems likely Denum got some funding. In another petition of about the same time (SC8/105/5206) Denum is described as king's sergeant and was asking for the expenses due to him whilst on the king's service.

- 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 ReferenceNY611373
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 73
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 126 (plan)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 93
  • Fraser, C.M. (ed), 1981, Northern petitions, illustrative of life in Berwick, Cumbria and Durham in the fourteenth century (Surtees Society 194), p. 137
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 307
  • Wilson, James (ed), 1905, VCH Cumberland Vol. 2 p. 255 online copy


  • King, Andy, 2007, 'Fortress and fashion statements: gentry castles in fourteenth-century Northumberland' Journal of Medieval History Vol. 33 p. 381
  • McIntire, W.T., 1930, 'Proceedings ' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 30 p. 212-3 online copy
  • Graham, T.H.B., 1929, 'Margaret de Wigton' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 29 p. 81-90 online copy

Primary Sources


  • Richard Singleton manuscript of 1677 in the Machell manuscripts Collections for the history of Westmoreland and Cumberland