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Crosby Ravensworth Hall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Crosby Hall

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY620148
Latitude 54.52705° Longitude -2.58864°

Crosby Ravensworth Hall has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House, and also as a probable Pele Tower.

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains.

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


Homestead Moat, at Crosby Ravensworth Hall, immediately W. of the church, forms a polygonal island. The E. arm and part of the S.E. arm have been filled in. There are traces of an outer bank on the N.W. and S.W. and of an inner bank near the N. angle. (RCHME 1936)

The site of Thomas de Hastings' house in 1286. "On Whit Sunday of that year Richard le Fraunceys of Mauld's Meaburn sent William de Harcla, John le Fraunceys, Robert de Appleby and others to Crosby Ravensworth. There they found Nicholas de Hastings, leaning on his bow, outside the gate of his brother's house, and immediately they attacked him. John le Fraunceys struck him with a staff and pushed him in the breast and by pressing upon him with his horse thrust him into a ditch. Seeing this William de Harcla leapt at him with his sword drawn intending to run it into him but the sword fell from his hand and so he failed. Whereupon John le Fraunceys bade Robert de Appleby shoot him with an arrow and Robert did as he was asked and shot him in the breast and Nicholas very quickly died." After which the murderers returned in a body towards the manor house of Mauld's Meaburn. "At once the villagers of Crosby followed them with hue and cry and with intent to arrest and seize the felon, Robert, who shot the arrow. But John le Fraunceys and William de Harcla and the others drove them back and by use of weapons rescued Robert de Appleby and took him away into the manor house of Richard le Fraunceys, who sent them forth, at Mauld's Meaburn, shut the gates after them and allowed no one to go in. Thereon came Alice, wife of Nicholas de Hastings, the slain man, she climbed on to a wall and raised hue and cry and sought to obtain entrance for the people with her that they might arrest them, but those inside the manor house prevented anyone from gaining ingress." This incident, somewhat abbreviated here, is given very fully in Trans., N.S., xi, pp. 326–332, and is of great interest as the mention of two 13th century manor houses is very rare.
Henry de Threlkeld held this Grange in 1304 and portions of the surrounding ditch or moat are still visible in the courtyard of the present Hall. William de Threlkeld received a licence in 1336 to impark some 700 acres of his woods and glens at Crosby Gill and on the road side between Crosby and Gilts can be seen the remains of the great park wall. Then about 1350 a pele tower was erected here.
A Threlkeld heiress brought the estate by marriage to the family of Pickering, and it was a Pickering who, about the year 1550, erected the manor house up against the Pele. Over the door the Pickering arms are displayed with eight quarterings and supporters. From the last of the Pickerings the manor was purchased by Sir John Lowther who gave it as a marriage portion to his daughter Frances and John Dodsworth. They are known to have been in residence here in 1682 and to have made repairs to the building. Finally it was purchased by Robert Lowther, whose son became the head of the family and the earl of Lonsdale of the first creation.
The ruins of the Pele Tower were taken down about the year 1750. (Curwen 1932)

Medieval double moated house (modernised C19 and moat how mainly infilled) had detached C14 pele like solar tower but this was demolished in 1750. Record of ditch and gate in 1286. In 1304 it was held by Henry de Threlkeld.
Large moats are rare in Westmorland (? only three) but smaller 'homestead' moats are more common here than in Cumberland where even they are rare.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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