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Cappleside Hall, Beetham

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Capulside; Cappelside; Cabblethwaite; Capilsyd

In the civil parish of Beetham.
In the historic county of Westmorland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Westmorland.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD50088025
Latitude 54.21527° Longitude -2.76707°

Cappleside Hall, Beetham has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Cappleside Hall is known to have been the fourth largest medieval hall in Cumberland and Westmorland. Despite being largely demolished the upstanding and buried remains of the hall survive reasonably well and will contain important archaeological information relating to the medieval and early post-medieval occupation of this class of monument.
The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of Cappleside Hall medieval lordly residence located between Pool Darkin Lane and Paradise Lane on the sheltered eastern flank of Cappleside Hill 600m north east of Beetham House. It consists of a substantial masonry wall with surrounding associated earthworks.
It is not known when construction of Cappleside Hall began. The earliest documentary reference to Cappleside, then known as Capplesheved, dates to 1336 when it formed part of the manor of Beetham. In 1348 Richard, son of Henry de Capplesheved, was sergeant to Ralph de Beetham, lord of the manor of Beetham. This suggests that Cappleside may have been an important holding within Beetham by this time. The earliest reference to Cappleside as a manor occurs in 1523 when it was in possession of the Middleton family. During the 17th century the manor passed to the families of Buskills, Prestons and Cliffords. The earliest specific reference to the hall occurs in 1691 but it may already have been abandoned by that time as it had been allowed to become partially ruinous by the Clifford family. The hall was largely demolished during the 18th century but one wing survived and in 1763 this was converted into a barn by a local farmer. Five years later the barn, along with the rest of Cappleside manor was sold to the Dallam estate. By 1867 this barn had also fallen into ruin. The antiquarian William Hutton visited Cappleside Hall in the 1760s and described the building as a central hall with two projecting service wings, each of three storeys. Hutton's measurements of the building indicate that Cappleside was the fourth largest medieval hall in Cumberland and Westmorland.
The upstanding remains include a fragment of medieval fabric which was converted for agricultural use in the 18th century. It comprises part of the hall's three storey service wing measuring up to 1.5m high and 1m thick. Two projecting turrets on the south side of this fragment are interpreted as the remains of a garderobe chute and a fireplace. The remainder of the medieval hall survives as well-defined earthworks partly obscured by later earthworks relating to enclosures associated with the barn. All these earthworks are best seen on aerial photographs. (Scheduling Report)

Cappleside Hall, ruin m. N. of Beetham Hall is a rubble structure forming the lower part of the S. wall of a former tower. It belonged to the Middleton family in the 16th century and was pulled down, except for the tower, about 1687. It was used as a barn in 1763 and was reduced to its present state probably in the 19th century. The tower was probably of late mediæval date but retains no detail by which it can be exactly dated. The existing wall formed the S. side of the tower and retains parts of the return-walls to the E. and W. At the S.W. angle is the base of a garde-robe turret and there is a second projection at the S.E. angle, perhaps for a fireplace. (RCHME 1936)

Despite the comments in the scheduling report of this being a large hall and a 'lordly' residence the medieval building was not of particularly important status. The 'defensible' tower was the solar wing only and this was not a tower house of noble status containing all the principle chambers but a pele tower of gentry status containing some private chambers but with an attached hall and service block.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:30

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