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Casterton Old Hall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Low Casterton; Beckside

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SD62367970
Latitude 54.21173° Longitude -2.57850°

Casterton Old Hall has been described as a Pele Tower although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.

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


Old Hall (Plate 92), house and pigeon-house, 150 yards W. of the church. The House is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built probably in the second half of the 16th century and has an extension on the E. The S. front retains its original stone windows of three and four transomed lights with moulded labels. The chimney-stacks have twin shafts set diagonally. The back wing has two old windows of four and three lights respectively. Inside the building, the main E. room has a fireplace with original moulded jambs and later head. There are several original or slightly later doors. In the W. room is a cupboard with the initials and date W. and A.H. 1613; the fireplace is original and has moulded jambs and lintel; the surround and overmantel (Plate 58) are made up of early 16th-century woodwork, including enriched shafts, panelled ogee head with carved monsters and human head and five carved panels with monsters and human heads. Elsewhere in the house is some 17th-century panelling, a fireplace with an early 18th-century surround and some movable furniture dated 1682 and 1688. The W. room is hung with 17th or 18th-century tapestry. (RCHME 1936)

House, now school residence. C17 with later addition. Stone rubble with slobbered mortar and slate roof. Central entrance plan with east extension. South facade of 2 storeys and 4 bays; the 2nd bay projects as narrow porch bay under catslide roof; 4th bay is lower, under shallower roof. Double-chamfered- mullioned windows, most with transom and label mould; ground floor has 4:3:2-light windows; 1st floor has 4:2 (no transom): 2:2-light windows. Entrance has flat pilasters with hollow chamfered arrises, lintel has hollow-chamfered segmental soffit with keystone with grenade, pulvinated frieze with rosettes, cornice and slate canopy; panelled door. 1st and 3rd bays have gable-end stacks with diagonal shafts, that to 1st bay projects. Left return has cross-mullioned window to ground floor, 2 windows of 2 lights to 1st floor and 2 attic lights. Rear has gabled wing with projecting gable-end stack with diagonal shafts. Basement and attic lights; ground floor 4-light window with leaded glazing, similar 3-light window to 1st floor; right return has sashed windows, that to ground floor with glazing bars. Rear of extension has casement windows. Right return has entrance with wide-boarded door. Interior: Ground floor has 2 fireplaces, one with Tudor-arched opening, twisted wood, columns and overmantel with relief panels of busts, dragons, etc., probably of 1530-40 re-used, the other with segmental head and moulded jambs. Built-in cupboard has fluted columns flanking front doors with panels inscribed: "WHA" and "1613", and also flanking rear fielded panelling. Round-headed entrance to stair has paired 3-panel doors; one 2-panel door with bolection moulding, stair has turned balustered and newels. 1st floor has room with panelling moulded to 3 sides, 12-panel door with wood handle. (Listed Building Report)

The house in Low Casterton, originally called Beckside Hall, now sometimes confusingly known as the Old Manor House, was built for Roger Wilson, Edward's son. The house has retained many original features, windows with three and four transomed lights, chimney stacks with twin shafts set diagonally. The elaborately carved overmantel and fireplace surrounds in the main room, and a cupboard in the same room, are older than the house, and presumably were imported features. (Garnett 2014)

Possible site of gentry status medieval manor house. Included by Perriam and Robinson in their gazetteer of medieval fortified buildings on the bases of a C16 reference to Sir Roger Bellingham having 'a tower' in the area although they wonder if this was actually Kerfit Hall. There is no physical evidence the medieval house, if it existed, was fortified and the historical evidence is scant and open to alternative interpretation.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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