The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 

Great Ormside Hall

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY70181758
Latitude 54.55260° Longitude -2.46255°

Great Ormside Hall has been described as a probable Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

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


Ormside Hall (Plate 16), 70 yards S.E. of the church, is of two and three storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The house belonged to the family of Barton till late in the 16th century, when it passed to Sir Christopher Pickering and from him to the Hilton family. The building was probably of the usual mediæval form with a hall-block and cross-wings at the N.E. and S.W. ends. The existing S.W. wing dates from late in the 14th or early in the 15th century, but the main or hall-block appears to have been re-built in the 17th century and the other cross-wing no longer exists. The S.W. wing is of three storeys; at the S.E. end the middle storey has an original window of two trefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded label; the label of a similar window remains in the floor below and in the top floor is a 15th-century window of two cinque-foiled lights; the N.W. end has two 17th-century windows and on the top floor a 15th or early 16th-century window of two lights with arched heads under a square moulded label. On the S.W. side are two windows with elliptical heads probably of the 17th century; one of these has a square moulded label. Inside the wing, there was formerly a circular staircase in the E. angle, now cut through to form an entrance and opening into a small lobby with 17th-century round-headed doorways, in the thickness of the N.E. wall. The first floor has a 17th-century frieze of modelled plaster, with scroll-ornament. The main block has a late 17th or early 18th-century doorway with a moulded architrave and key-block. The outbuilding, N.E. of the house, incorporates two 17th-century windows. The entrance to the courtyard is flanked by two late 17th or early 18th-century rusticated piers with moulded cappings and ball-terminals.
Condition—Fairly good. (RCHME 1936)

The seat of the Barton family until they sold it, temp. Queen Elizabeth, to Sir Christopher Pickering, who died in 1620, from whom it passed to Cyprian Hylton, who died in 1652. The history of the building, which clearly started as a small peel tower in the 14th century, is unknown. Since 1811 the embattled roof has been taken off and a slated gable erected in its place. The Hall faces the church and forms three sides of a quadrangle, there are a number of arched stone passages, but the rooms possess no features of interest. (Curwen 1932)

A fortified solar tower attached to an unfortified hall of an important gentry family.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
Streetmap   NLS maps   Where's the path   Old-Maps      
Data/Maps > 
Magic   V. O. B.   Geology   LiDAR   Open Domesday  
Air Photos > 
Bing Maps   Google Maps   Getmapping   ZoomEarth      
Photos >
CastleFacts   Geograph   Flickr   Panoramio      

Sources of information, references and further reading
Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.
It is an offence to disturb a Scheduled Monument without consent. It is a destruction of everyone's heritage to remove archaeological evidence from ANY site without proper recording and reporting.
Don't use metal detectors on historic sites without authorisation.
The information on this web page may be derived from information compiled by and/or copyright of Historic England, County Historic Environment Records and other individuals and organisations. It may also contain information licensed under the Open Government Licence. All the sources given should be consulted to identify the original copyright holder and permission obtained from them before use of the information on this site for commercial purposes.
The author and compiler of Gatehouse does not receive any income from the site and funds it himself. The information within this site is provided freely for educational purposes only.
The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
The possible site or monument is represented on maps as a point location. This is a guide only. It should be noted that OS grid references defines an area, not a point location. In practice this means the actual center of the site or monument may often, but not always, be to the North East of the point shown. Locations derived from OS grid references and from latitude longitiude may differ by a small distance.
Further information on mapping and location can be seen at this link.
Please help to make this as useful a resource as possible by contacting Gatehouse if you see errors, can add information or have suggestions for improvements in functality and design.
Help is acknowledged.
*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

Home | Books | Links | Fortifications and Castles | Other Information | Help | Downloads | Author Information | Contact