Levens Hall

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameLevens Hall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWestmorland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishLevens

A 16th century house incorporating a tower house of 1360, possibly altered circa 1450. It was extensively remodelled in the late 17th century and further altered and extended in the late 18th century. An early 19th century tower was added to the rear, and is attributed to Webster of Kendal. The house is of two storeys with attics and basement and constructed of limestone rubble, part rendered, with sandstone dressings and a graduated greenslate roof. (PastScape)

Levens Hall (Plates 125, 128), house and stables and gardens on the S. bank of the river Kent and 1,300 yards E.S.E. of the church. The House is of three storeys; the walls are of local rubble with freestone dressings and the roofs are slate-covered. The estate came into the possession of the Bellingham family in 1489 and remained with them until 1688 when it was sold to Col. James Grahme and passed in turn to the Howard and the Bagot families. There are some remains of a 14th-century house of the local type consisting of a hall-block with a tower-wing at one end and a cross-wing at the other. The basement of the N. part of the present E. cross-wing probably formed part of the tower-wing and other portions of the mediæval building may survive in the lower walls of the existing hallblock and W. cross-wing. As it stands, however, the house is largely a reconstruction of Sir James Bellingham 1577–1641; the new building was certainly in progress in 1586; at this time the tower was added on the N. and the staircase-wing on the S. of the hallblock. The kitchen-wing, S. of the hall and the then detached brew-house were built at the same period. Various alterations were made to the house by Col

James Grahme, from 1691 onwards; in 1703 the kitchen-wing was partly destroyed by fire and re-built together with a new range connecting it with the brewhouse; the main staircase is also of this date. The new range, S. of the courtyard, was altered in the latter part of the 18th century and the Howard Tower at its E. end is an early 19th-century adddition.

The house, as it stands, is mainly an interesting and little altered example of the Elizabethan age, with rich fireplaces, plasterwork and panelling of that and later periods. The layout of the gardens with their unusual variety of cut yews is one of the finest examples of such things in the country. (RCHME 1936)

Gatehouse Comments

Now a large house but in its original C14 medieval form probably a solar tower attached to a hall block, possibly with a second 'service block' tower added in the C15.

- 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 ReferenceSD495850
Latitude54.2590484619141
Longitude-2.77632999420166
Eastings349520
Northings485000
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved

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Books

  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 345-5 (plan)
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 70
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 271
  • Cope, Jean, 1991, Castles in Cumbria (Cicerone Press) p. 114-17
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 493
  • Hugill, Robert, 1977, Castles and Peles of Cumberland and Westmorland (Newcastle; Frank Graham) p. 115-120
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth) p. 268-70
  • RCHME, 1936, An inventory of the historical monuments in Westmorland (HMSO) p. 151-5 no. 1 plan [online transcription > http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=120780]
  • Tipping, H.A., 1927, English Homes, period 3 Vol. 2 (London) p. 213
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 294-6
  • < >Curwen, J.F., 1898, Historical Description of Levens Hall (Kendal) online copy < >
  • Taylor, M.W., 1892, Old Manorial Halls of Westmorland and Cumberland (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 8) p. 199-204 online copy
  • Tattersall, G.T., 1836, Guide to the Lakes of England (Kendal) p. 17-19 online copy
  • A Rambler (alias J. Palmer), 1795 (2edn), A Fortnight's Ramble to the Lakes p. 18-20 online copy

Antiquarian

  • Hughes, E. (ed), 1962, Fleming-Senhouse Papers (Carlisle: Cumberland Record Series 2) p. 12
  • Manuscripts of the Reverend Thomas Machell, vicar of Kirkby Thore (d 1698) Vol. 2 p. 175 (preserved at the Cumberland Record Office)

Journals

  • 1946, 'Proceedings' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 46 p. 288 online copy
  • 1926, Country Life Vol. 60 p. 538-46, 578-86, 610-17
  • 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. 32 online copy
  • Curwen, J.F., 1925, 'Proceedings - Levens Hall' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 25 p. 362-3 online copy
  • Greenwood, W., 1903, 'The Redmans of Levens' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 3 p. 272-306 online copy
  • Weston, G.F., 1869, 'Levens Hall, Westmoreland' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 26 p. 97-120 online copy

Other

  • Clare, T., 1982, A Report on Medieval Fortified Sites in Cumbria (Cumbria CC)