Ravenstonedale Church Pele

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are masonry footings remains

NameRavenstonedale Church Pele
Alternative Names
Historic CountryWestmorland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishRavenstonedale

Ruins and foundations, immediately N of St Oswald's Church are presumably those of a small establishment or cell of the Gilbertine Canons of Watton (Yorks) to whom the vill of Ravenstonedale was given probably late in C12 The remains stand in places to a height of 5'-6' and the foundations were excavated in 1928-9. The SE wing was perhaps the earliest part and the remains appear to date from C14-C15 (RCHME).

Full excavation report, photos, etc. (Frankland).

The exposed remains are partly free-standing and partly below ground level. No recognisable features remain to date the structures which appear to consist of some nondescript external walling with internal walls dividing up small rooms. There is also a drain or culvert leading to the stream on the east side. A levelled platform to the north, outside the churchyard wall, probably represents the site of further remains (Field Investigators Comments–BH Pritchard/12-MAR-74).

The remains beside the church were re-excavated in 1988-9 and afterwards consolidated. They are now in a stable condition (Amy Lax/20-AUG-1993/RCHME: Howgill Fells Project– ref. Turnbull and Walsh).

The remains include the foundations of C14 or C15 pele tower. Plan and illustration (Perriam and Robinson). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

This started as a small Gilbertine Cell founded about 1200 but the east range of the cloister appears to have been converted into a bailiff's house, possibly at quite an early date. This bailiff house, attached to the church, seems to have had a small tower.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY722042
Latitude54.4332389831543
Longitude-2.42962002754211
Eastings372230
Northings504280
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Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Photograph by Matthew Emmott. All rights reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World All Rights Reserved
Copyright Dave Barlow of Abaroths World 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. 303 (plan)
  • Irwin, C., 1990, The Gilbertines and Ravenstonedale (Kirkby Stephen: The Book House)
  • Knowles, David and Hadcock, R Neville, 1971, Medieval religious houses in England and Wales (Longman) p. 197, 199
  • RCHME, 1936, An inventory of the historical monuments in Westmorland (HMSO) p. 198 no. 2 online transcription

Antiquarian

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

Journals

  • Turnbull, P. and Walsh, D., 1992, 'Monastic remains at Ravenstonedale' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 92 p. 67-76 online copy
  • Frankland, E.P., 1930, 'Explorations in Ravenstonedale (II)' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 30 p. 144-8 online copy
  • Frankland, E.P., 1929, 'Explorations in Ravenstonedale' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 29 p. 278-292 online copy