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Preston Patrick Hall

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

OS Map Grid Reference: SD544837
Latitude 54.24740° Longitude -2.70082°

Preston Patrick Hall has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House, and also as a probable Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

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


Probably late C14, upper part of East wing remodelled and windows inserted in Hall block C15 or early C16. Hall block then heightened and upper floor inserted probably late C17; later alterations and additions to rear. Slobbered rubble walls with sandstone quoins; graduated greenslate roof with stone ridge and copings. Hall with cross-wings. 2 storeys, 5 bays 1:3:1. Off-centre top-glazed panelled door, with remains of tracery of earlier window above, under gabled stone slated porch with renewed barge boards. 2 sashes with glazing bars to left, one to right, 3 later sashes above. Left wing has traceried window to first floor, right wing has C20 door with traceried head to opening, approached up stone steps. Both traceried openings have hoodmoulds and head stops. Small lean-to with slate roof to front of left wing. Further traceried windows to rear including small single-light window which appears to have been protected and retains details of tracery lost through weathering on other windows. 2 ridge chimneys and 2 smaller, later chimneys to rear. Interior has deeply chamfered beams; variety of fine stone fireplaces; door openings with Caernarvon arches to heads; 2 stone newel stairs. C18 oak dog-leg stair with closed string, square newels,turned balusters and moulded handrails and later balusters to landing; old oak floorboards and lintels. 5-bay king-post roof to "Court Room" in East wing. (Listed Building Report)

"an interesting example of a medieval building", is probably of late, with later work. "In spite of the thickness of the lower walls of the E.wing there seems to be no evidence that it was ever carried up as a tower" (RCHME).
"The E wing has two tunnel-vaulted chambers separated by a tunnel-vaulted passage not originally connected with them, exactly as at Burneside Hall. The whole is proof of a former pele-tower" (Pevsner).
Preston Patrick Hall had twin 15th/16th century towers, the western one 42 by 23 1/2ft and the eastern one 43 by 22ft. The whole house was apparently remodelled circa 1625 when the upper part of the east tower was rebuilt and made into a Court House (Curwen). (PastScape)

Clearly some question as to the original nature of this house, but possibly one or both crosswings was of a pele-tower form. Thomas Machell (1680-1690s) says it is, 'an old rambling house with (a) slender tower ouer the Gate'. This may imply a gatehouse, in which case this may have been a courtyard house. That is a fortified manor house of the more usual form rather than a pele tower. (Meg Twycross suggests a comparison with Middleton Hall, 5 miles to the NE.)
As at some other such house the lower level of the thick walled 'tower' was used as a dairy. The thermal insulation and constant temperature provided by such thick walls would much benefit the dairy function although this does not mean such 'towers' were built to serve such a function.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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