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Brackenhill Tower

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Arthuret.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY44576948
Latitude 55.01677° Longitude -2.86838°

Brackenhill Tower has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Brackenhill Tower is a fortified Border tower house, its importance stemming from the fact that it is a unique example of a Scottish-style tower sitting on English soil. It was built in 1584, for the Graham family, replacing an earlier tower which may have dated to C13 or earlier. Constructed from large blocks of red sandstone rubble, the external elevations are virtually unaltered from its original state. The walls are five ft thick and rise to forty ft in height and there is a double gabled slated roof which is surrounded by a corbelled and battlemented parapet. In 1717, the fifth Richard Graham constructed a brick cottage to the south east of the tower. These are the earliest signs of the site being consolidated. There is no evidence of the sort of alterations which would have been expected such as the enlargement of windows, when what was essentially a medieval tower continued in use as a Georgian house. One alteration was the insertion of the present west doorway of the basement and possibly the superstructure of the tower at attic level as the two end chimneys look to be of this date. It remains uncertain whether the roof trusses are contemporary with the stacks or were later alterations in 1860. Towards the end of C18 the property was sold to the Stephenson family, (the family name later changed to Standish), who built a new dining room and kitchen. In 1860 the tower and the cottage seem to have adjoined corner-to-corner, with a physical internal link, and a porch was added at the front of the original tower. It appears that the tower and cottage were linked together to form a hunting lodge. The ground of Brackenhill contains a planned hunting landscape which was commissioned by the Standish family specifically for recreational hunting. By the end of World War II the Carlyle family were the tenants and in 1946, when the Standish Estate was put up for sale, the Carlyle's acquired the Brackenhill Estate. (PastScape)

Appears to be added to the Aligonby Platt of 1590 in Lord Burleigh's very poor handwriting. Perriam and Robinson transcribed this as 'waikelli' and misattributed the site.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:32

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