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Denton Hall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Denton Tower; Turris de Denton juxta Hawtwisill

In the civil parish of Nether Denton.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Northumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY57816305
Latitude 54.96024° Longitude -2.66002°

Denton Hall has been described as a Timber Castle but is rejected as such, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House, and also as a certain Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

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


Farmhouse, formerly tower house and hall. C14 tower for Denton family, with extensions dated 1829 over entrance, as part of the Earl of Carlisle's estate. Tower has walls over 2 metres thick of large blocks of calciferous sandstone rubble; extensions of mixed calciferous and red sandstone rubble with ashlar quoins; graduated green slate roof with coped gables and kneelers, cream brick chimney stacks on ashlar bases. Extended front, 2 storeys, 3 bays. 6-panel door with radial fanlight has alternate block surround and round arch with dated keystone. Sash windows with glazing bars have plain raised stone surrounds. Original tower still stands 3 storeys high, walls partly reduced in height when gabled roof added; walls now partly internal but part of rear wall and side wall of the extended house are the tower walls. Rear has gabled C19 porch and C19 2-light mullioned windows. Left of porch is C19, but large footing stones suggest this is on the earlier foundations of the hall. Interior of tower is in an unaltered condition and has many features not visible from the outside and now covered by later buildings. Ground floor is not vaulted; splayed window in north wall has been enlarged. Newel staircase has ground floor entrance in south angle of east wall. First floor room has filled 2-light mullioned window in south wall with shouldered rear arch, splayed and with 2 step window seat; flanking narrow entrances have shouldered arches, that to left leads to stair and right is garderobe with small square filled window. Similar splayed window in west wall has also been filled; enlarged splayed window in north wall. Filled fireplace in east wall, retains its hearth stone. Corbel stones for original ceiling are still in place, with later ceiling on a similar level, supported on beams sunk into wall. Second floor is now in roof space; stair continues up for 4-5 steps and stops. Adjoining barn/stables of 2 storeys, 4 bays, have whitewashed walls, plank doors and similar mullioned windows to rear of house. Encircling dry moat and earthworks remain in part. (Listed Building Report)

A 14th c Pele Tower, 31' x 27-1/2', height lost as it is now gabled over, standing near Denton Hall which was built in 1829. A deep moat is still visible on the south and east sides (Curwen).
The peel tower forms the NW angle to the 19th century Denton Hall. Externally the tower is not apparent, but internally, its walls are found to be 2.0m thick, with a newel staircase at the SE angle. Splayed window openings, blocked externally, survive at first floor level, together with massive corbels just below the present ceiling which would indicate that originally the tower was probably of three stories. Only parts of the E and S arms of the moat survive, consisting of a ditch 2.0m deep with an external bank up to 1.0m high. A water course has eroded and deepened the line of the W arm. The feature described as 'Moat' on the published survey is in fact a very fine series of five fishponds, varying in depth from 0.8m to 1.2m, with a deep hollow to the NW, probably largely natural, acting as a drain-off to the complex. Moat and fishponds resurveyed at 1:2500. Pevsner (giving Curwen as his authority) lists Denton Hall as a motte and bailey. This is clearly an error (F1 DS 25-NOV-71). (PastScape)

Although rejected as a motte and bailey Perriam and Robinson report earthworks nearby and record that Clare (1982) writes 'there are good reasons for believing the moats at Millom and Nether Denton to be earlier than the towers...' and comment "In that he recognised them as moated manor sites."
Tower mentioned in 1415 list of towers in Northumberland; this Denton was part of Northumberland during the middle ages but moved into Cumberland at some uncertain date.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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