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Skelsmergh Hall

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SD53139589
Latitude 54.35657° Longitude -2.72198°

Skelsmergh Hall has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

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


One wing is a pele-tower, probably 15th. century. The attached house is late 16th-early 17th. century, with later additions (RCHME).
A chapel of St. John the Baptist and its burial ground once existed at Skelsmergh Hall, (or possibly only at Skelsmergh - passage ambiguous). In 1680 it was noted that part of the choir walls were standing and that a stream from St. John's Well ran through it from E. to W. No trace now remains (TCWAAS 1882).
Skelsmergh Hall, a typical semi-fortified manor house with attached pele tower, grade 2 (Listed Building Report)
Tower house of circa 1425, 16th century parlour, extended in the 17th century (RCHME).
According to Tyson, this was not the site of St John's well and Chapel. Evidence suggests they they were in fact located further north, near SD53059708 (Tyson 1998). (PastScape)

Skelsmergh Hall (Plate 152), 560 yards N.N.E. of the church, is partly of two and partly of three storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The N.E. wing of the house formed the rectangular tower of the Leyburne family and was built probably in the 15th century. The wing containing the parlour was added to the S. of it late in the 16th century and was extended E. early in the 17th century. The kitchen at the end of this extension may be of later date. There are various modern additions. The Tower (40 ft. by 22 ft. externally) is of three storeys but has lost its parapets. The end walls have original windows to the upper storeys, of two trefoiled lights in a square head with a moulded label; the lower pair of these have been altered and partly destroyed. The side walls have a number of single-light windows also original. The ground stage of the tower has a plain barrel-vault of rubble. In the S.E. angle of the upper floors is a circular staircase and in the N.W. angle a garde-robe projection; both are lit by loops. The floor of the top storey has gone except for two beams; the roof is of four bays with cambered tie-beams, king-posts, principals curved on the underside and raking struts below them; it is probably original and arranged to allow for a walk behind the parapet, though the present modern covering extends over the walls. The S. wing has in the W. wall a 16th-century doorway with moulded jambs and curved head; above it is a decayed panel bearing a date, possibly 1611. Re-set on the modern porch is part of the head of a fireplace with the date 1629. The 16th-century part of the wing retains original windows with moulded stone jambs, mullions, transoms and labels. The 17th-century extension also retains two of its original windows, of similar character to those just described; two more windows of this age light the staircase-wing. Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams, 17th-century panelled partitions and doors. There is also a small spice-cupboard and an early 18th-century fireplace with a corbelled head.
Condition—Good. (RCHME 1936)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:30

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