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Acorn Bank

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Temple Sowerby Manor-house

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY61722822
Latitude 54.64754° Longitude -2.59456°

Acorn Bank has been described as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are masonry footings remains.

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Large house, taken over by the Crown at the Dissolution, it was bought by the Dalstons in 1544. The deep chamfered plinth to the north-west corner may date from the previous owners, the Knights Templar & Hospitaller. The pre C18 work is coursed, roughly squared blocks, the rest is ashlar. All roofs are of graduated slate with corniced stone end and mid chimneys. 2-storey west elevation is late C16. Door with false 4-centred head to either end of 3 central bays; 3-light mullioned window between and 3 above. Wing at each end has single 2-light mullioned window to each floor. Internally, a spiral stair with timber and plaster enclosure and 3 original fireplaces have survived. At the rear of the main house, the west stair wing bears a 1656 datestone; the Venetian windows are part-rusticated externally with Doric columns internally. The stairs have cut string with turned balusters and a later, moulded, handrail; the dog gates at the bottom have been retained. Some C17 heraldic glass. The central rear wing may be earlier and incorporates part of a newel stair. The east stair wing is mid C18 with a single Venetian window; internally, at the head of the later stairs, are paired Ionic columns. The ceiling is Italianate with decorative panels. Both stairs have pedimented doorcases on each landing. In the mid C18 the main house was remodelled and extended with a rusticated east gable wall. Symmetrical 3-storey, 9-bay front has 2nd floor band and moulded eaves. Central door has segmental pediment and shouldered achitrave; sash windows have glazing bars and architraves. 2-storeyed, hipped, wings to either side have trompe l'oeil windows. Internally, large C17 segment-headed, fireplaces in kitchen and hall; small door to right in kitchen (now blocked) led into newel stair. Present dining room is fully panelled with vine-leaf and greek-key decoration; Adam fireplace and overmantel. Other rooms retain C17 and C18 panelling, fireplaces and cornices. Elaborately carved early C17 overmantel with Dalston heraldry was moved from hall to 1st floor bedroom in late C20. Most doors are original, some in shouldered doorcases. (Listed Building Report)

Acorn Bank or Temple Sowerby Manor-house, m. N.E. of the church, is of three storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The property belonged successively to the military orders of the Temple and the Hospital and passed at the dissolution to the family of Dalston. There is no definite evidence that any of the existing building is mediæval. (RCHME)

It is possible that as a Templar property the medieval house had some defensive features although the evidence for that is by analogue with other Templar sites only.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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