Has been described as a Questionable Pele Tower, and also as a Questionable Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

Alternative NamesMill Rigg, Millrig
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishCulgaith

House, dated 1597 for Henry and Bridget Birbeck in a panel to the gable of the rear wing and 1597 for John Dalston, who bought the house in the same year, on the lintel of the rear wing's east door. Also dated 1669 on the probably reset panel with the Dalston Arms in the hood mould of the same door. The house retains an older core and later additions.

This building may retain an earlier core. The present house is considered to be dated to 1597 and was constructed for Henry and Bridget Birkbeck; it was bought in the same year by John Dalston who had resided in Westmoreland since 1544 when the family bought nearby Acorn bank from the Crown. The original building was extended to the north east by two bays in the later C18 or early C19 century and the single storey west range was raised in height to provide a second storey in the mid 1930s. (Listed Building Report)

The house may have an earlier core, although details of the building pre-1597 seem to be almost non-existent. From the outside, this looks like one single building, though an interior examination by Peter Ryder, showed that there were possibly two buildings butted up against each other. The building has retained many original features, such as door lintels, windows and fireplaces. (Matthew Emmott)

Gatehouse Comments

The actual form of the C16 building is unclear but this was not a chamber block attached to a hall. A spiral stair lead to an upper room but this seems to have been mainly a thick walled building with residential accommodation on the ground floor so not really a bastle of any form. A stone or strong house.

- 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 ReferenceNY607283
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reservedView full Sized Image

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  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 98 (slight)
  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 127
  • Brunskill, R.W., 1971, Illustrated Handbook of Vernacular Architecture (Faber and Faber) p. 143
  • Pevsner, N., 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth: Penguin) p. 115


  • Scott, D., 1927, 'Millrigg' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 27 p. 178-183 online copy