Preston Patrick Hall

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Manor House, and also as a Possible Pele Tower

There are major building remains

NamePreston Patrick Hall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWestmorland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishPreston Patrick

Probably late C14, upper part of East wing remodelled and windows inserted in Hall block C15 or early C16. Hall block then heightened and upper floor inserted probably late C17; later alterations and additions to rear. Slobbered rubble walls with sandstone quoins; graduated greenslate roof with stone ridge and copings. Hall with cross-wings. 2 storeys, 5 bays 1:3:1. Off-centre top-glazed panelled door, with remains of tracery of earlier window above, under gabled stone slated porch with renewed barge boards. 2 sashes with glazing bars to left, one to right, 3 later sashes above. Left wing has traceried window to first floor, right wing has C20 door with traceried head to opening, approached up stone steps. Both traceried openings have hoodmoulds and head stops. Small lean-to with slate roof to front of left wing. Further traceried windows to rear including small single-light window which appears to have been protected and retains details of tracery lost through weathering on other windows. 2 ridge chimneys and 2 smaller, later chimneys to rear. Interior has deeply chamfered beams; variety of fine stone fireplaces; door openings with Caernarvon arches to heads; 2 stone newel stairs. C18 oak dog-leg stair with closed string, square newels,turned balusters and moulded handrails and later balusters to landing; old oak floorboards and lintels. 5-bay king-post roof to "Court Room" in East wing. (Listed Building Report)

"an interesting example of a medieval building", is probably of late, with later work. "In spite of the thickness of the lower walls of the E.wing there seems to be no evidence that it was ever carried up as a tower" (RCHME).

"The E wing has two tunnel-vaulted chambers separated by a tunnel-vaulted passage not originally connected with them, exactly as at Burneside Hall

The whole is proof of a former pele-tower" (Pevsner).

Preston Patrick Hall had twin 15th/16th century towers, the western one 42 by 23 1/2ft and the eastern one 43 by 22ft. The whole house was apparently remodelled circa 1625 when the upper part of the east tower was rebuilt and made into a Court House (Curwen). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Clearly some question as to the original nature of this house, but possibly one or both crosswings was of a pele-tower form. Thomas Machell (1680-1690s) says it is, 'an old rambling house with (a) slender tower ouer the Gate'. This may imply a gatehouse, in which case this may have been a courtyard house. That is a fortified manor house of the more usual form rather than a pele tower. (Meg Twycross suggests a comparison with Middleton Hall, 5 miles to the NE.) As at some other such house the lower level of the thick walled 'tower' was used as a dairy. The thermal insulation and constant temperature provided by such thick walls would much benefit the dairy function although this does not mean such 'towers' were built to serve such a function.

- 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 ReferenceSD544837
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved

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  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 362-3 (plan)
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 83
  • Emery, Anthony, 1996, Greater Medieval Houses of England and Wales Vol. 1 Northern England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) p. 241
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 274 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 495 (possible)
  • Hugill, Robert, 1977, Castles and Peles of Cumberland and Westmorland (Newcastle; Frank Graham) p. 158-9
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1967, Buildings of England: Cumberland and Westmorland (Harmondsworth) p. 284
  • Palmer, J.H., 1944, Historic Farmhouses in and around Westmorland (Kendal) p. 102
  • RCHME, 1936, An inventory of the historical monuments in Westmorland (HMSO) p. 195-6 no. 3 plan [online transcription >]
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 342, 390
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 209 online copy


  • Ewbank, J.M. (ed), 1963, Antiquary on Horseback (CWAAS extra series No. 19) (Thomas Machell's writings)


  • Brunskill, R.W., 1965, 'Proceedings' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 65 p. 432 online copy
  • Charlton, 1946, 'Proceedings' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 46 p. 289-91 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. 34 online copy
  • Ferguson, R.S., 1894-5, 'Excursions' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 13 p. 56 online copy


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