Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire

Has been described as a Possible Pele Tower

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameGawthorpe Hall, Lancashire
Alternative Names
Historic CountryLancashire
Modern AuthorityLancashire
1974 AuthorityLancashire
Civil ParishIghtenhill

Country house of 1600-05, possibly built around a pre-existing pele tower. The interior was drastically restored by Charles Barry in 1849-51. Now owned by the National Trust. (PastScape ref. Pevesner)

Country house, 1600-1605, for Rev. Lawrence Shuttleworth, possibly to plans influenced by Robert Smythson; altered c.1850-60 by Sir Charles Barry; now museum. Coursed sandstone with ashlar dressings. This house is the only example in this county of the late Elizabethan type associated with Smythson (e.g. Wollaton, Hardwicke, Bolsover, Worksop). Relevant features of the building are: the compact plan within a rectangle, surrounding a tower (which is off-centre and possibly of medieval origin); the high 3-storey elevations over a basement kitchen (basement exposed at rear making 4 storeys) with the tower rising above; the symmetrical 5-bay facade composed of full-height porch and flanking semi-octagonal bays; and the internal plan placing the great hall not in the centre but to one side. Original interior features of particular interest are the screen and gallery in the hall, the panelling and plaster work in the dining room (now drawing room), overmantels in two 1st floor chambers, and the long gallery on the 2nd floor. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

There was a medieval manor with deer park in Ightenhill but this was not Gawthorpe and the park was disemparked in 1519, although it was leased by the Shuttleworths of Gawthorpe after this (VCH 6 p. 487-9). This would mean that supposed earlier tower was a modest tower house (i.e. a pele tower) of gentry or even yeoman status (Richard Shuttleworth, a lawyer, was knighted in 1589 but before that the family were not gentry) The evidence for an earlier pele tower surviving within the property seems to be the opinion of Pevsner and is not supported by actual architectural or documentary evidence. Goodall seems to suggest the whole building, including the stair turret, was a new build of the early C17. Tenurially a pele tower is not impossible or even unlikely although probably of a later date than most (C15 rather than C14) as the Shuttleworth family only gradually gained in social status.

- 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 ReferenceSD807341
Latitude53.8028297424316
Longitude-2.29478001594543
Eastings380700
Northings434120
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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
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

  • Goodall, John, 2011, The English Castle 1066-1650 (Yale University Press) p. 450, 462
  • Hartwell, Clare and Pevsner, Nikolaus, 2009, Buildings of England: Lancashire: North (London and New Haven: Yale University Press) p. 321
  • Conroy, M.P., 1999, The Shuttlworths of Gawthorpe
  • Cooper, Nicholas, 1999, Houses of the Gentry, 1480-1680 (Yale University Press) p. 119, 124, 183, 260-1
  • Girouard, Mark, 1983 (2edn), Smythson and the Elizabethan Country House p. 191-2
  • Pevsner, Nikolaus, 1969, Buildings of England: Lancashire, The rural north (Harmondsworth) p. 128
  • Farrer, William and Brownbill, J. (eds), 1911, VCH Lancashire Vol. 6 p. 463 online transcription
  • Taylor, H., 1884, Old Halls of Lancashire and Cheshire p. 104-6 (plan) online copy (without plans/pictures)

Journals

  • Champness, John, 2006-7, 'The Building of Gawthorpe Hall' Contrebis Vol. 31
  • Anon, 1913 May 10, 'Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire' Country Life

Guide Books

  • Dean, Richard, 1988, Gawthorpe Hall - Lancashire (National Trust)