Wraysholme Tower, Lower Allithwaite

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are major building remains

NameWraysholme Tower, Lower Allithwaite
Alternative NamesRaysholm; Rasome; Razin; Bazin
Historic CountryLancashire
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishLower Allithwaite

The Tower is a good example of a peel tower. Erected probably in the latter half of the 15 th century, it measures externally 40 ft. by 28 ft. 6 in., the longer length being from north to south. It is built in local limestone rubble with angle quoins, and at the south-east corner is a projecting garderobe 7 ft. 6 in. by 6 ft. which apparently increases the length of the building on the east side to 46 ft. The tower now forms part of the buildings of a modern farm-house which is attached to it on the west side, erected in 1848, but whether it originally stood alone or belonged to a larger building the remainder of which has disappeared it is impossible to say. There is no inherent reason, however, to suppose that it was anything more than an isolated tower. The walls at the ground floor are 4 ft. thick, the bottom room, now used as a stable, being 31 ft. 9 in. by 21 ft. with a pointed doorway in the north-west corner. There is a narrow window on the south side, but the existing doorway and window on the east and the doorway on the north side are modern. In the south-west corner is a vice going up the full height of the building with a door to each floor and leading to the roof. The present floor is modern, the tower being originally of three stories each about 8 ft. high, the walls set back at the first floor level, making a room 34 ft. by 22 ft. This room was lit by squareheaded windows 2 ft. 6 in. high by 2 ft. wide, splaying out inside to 3 ft., and had a fireplace 5 ft. wide on the east side, the opening of which, with flat arch and hollow chamfered jambs, yet remains. The second floor has a fireplace opening on the west side and was lit at each end by a square-headed twolight window with trefoiled lights, both of which remain, but that on the south is now completely covered over with ivy and can only be seen from within. There are also two square single-light openings on the east and one on the west side. A large opening 7 ft. 6 in. wide by 11 ft

high has been made in the north end of the east wall at the first floor level, approached by a wooden bridge from the other farm buildings, and in many other ways the structure has suffered from its present use as a barn and stable. The roof is a modern one covered with blue slates, erected about 1870. The upper part of the walls is broken away except on the north side, where a portion of a corbelled parapet wall remains with a small square turret at each corner. The height of the tower to the corbel table is 30 ft. and the turrets rise about 7 ft. above this. The masonry of the garderobe tower is leaving that of the main building, a large crack showing from top to bottom, and the upper part of the tower has disappeared, but the corbel table remains on the east side and was probably continuous all round the building. The south-west corner, where the turret remains, is now completely covered up with a thick growth of ivy. There was formerly some coloured glass in the windows with the arms of Harrington, but it has all disappeared. Three diamond quarries, however, with the Stanley badge and crest of the eagle's claw and the eagle and child, and the initials possibly of Hugh Dicconson, are preserved in the adjoining farmhouse. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

Pele tower dating from 1485, was originally attached to the south side of Wraysholme Hall, and is all that now remains of this hunting lodge. Stone tower connected to a timber hall. Apart from the hunting, the estate had access to water fowl and sea fish and a nearby medicinal spring making it an ideal 'holiday' home able to provide entertainment, tasty food (particularly during periods of fast) and cures.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceSD383754
Latitude54.1708488464355
Longitude-2.94631004333496
Eastings338320
Northings475420
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
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

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Books

  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 372 (plan)
  • Salter, Mike, 1998, The Castles and Tower Houses of Cumbria (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 95
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 273
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 248
  • Gibson, Leslie Irving, 1977, Lancashire Castles and Towers (Dalesman Books)
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1969, Buildings of England: Lancashire, The rural north (Harmondsworth) p. 122
  • Farrer, William and Brownbill, J. (eds), 1914, VCH Lancashire Vol. 8 p. 267-8 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. 399, 407, 433
  • Fishwick, 1907, 'Castles and Fortified Houses' in Fishwick and P.H. Ditchfield (eds), Memorials of Old Lancashire (London: Bemrose and sons) Vol. 2 p. 19 (weak) online copy
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1896, Castles of England; their story and structure (New York: Macmillan) Vol. 2 p. 206 online copy
  • Roper, W.O., 1880, The Churches, Castles and Ancient Halls of North Lancashire (E. and J.L. Milner) p. 97
  • Stockdale, J., 1872, Annales Caermoelenses or Annals of Cartmel (Ulverston: William Kitchen) p. 478 online copy (poor scan)
  • Baines, E., 1868-70 (2edn edited and enlarged by John Harland), History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster (London: George Routledge and sons) Vol. 2 p. 685
  • West, T., 1805, Antiquites of Furness (Ulverston) p. 15 online copy

Journals

  • McDowell, R.W., 1976, 'Wraysholme Tower' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 76 p. 216-18 online copy
  • Spence, J.E., 1946, 'Proceedings' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 46 p. 284 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. 38 online copy

Other

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