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Turton Tower

In the civil parish of North Turton.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of Blackburn with Darwen.
1974 county of Lancashire.
Medieval County of Lancashire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD73051521
Latitude 53.63281° Longitude -2.40901°

Turton Tower has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

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


A late medieval fortified house which was later altered and enlarged, restored in 1835 and further altered in the mid 19th century. The original stone tower was raised from two to three storeys circa 1596. The timber and stone ranges to the north and east are also of 16th century date. The building was used as a farmhouse from 1809 to 1835 and is now in use as a museum. (PastScape)

TURTON TOWER stands on high ground in a situation described by Camden as 'amongst precipices and wastes,' about 4 miles north of Bolton. It is an exceedingly interesting building, the oldest part of which consists of a stone tower built square with the compass, measuring externally 45 ft. in length from north to south, and 28 ft. in width, with walls 4 ft. thick. There is no architectural feature remaining to determine the precise date of the original walls, which are of a somewhat rough order with large quoin stones; whether any part of the building is earlier than the first part of the 15 th century is very doubtful. The tower was altered and raised in the 16th century, when additions in stone and timber were made on its eastern and northern sides, and a range of buildings erected at right angles to it on the north-east. The plan thus formed, which is still that of the house, follows the lines of two sides of a court inclosed by buildings on the north and west. These later buildings were much altered in the first half of the 19th century, when they assumed their present appearance. The house therefore belongs to three main periods: the tower proper to the Middle Ages, the original north wing and additions to the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the alteration and refacing of the latter to the early years of Queen Victoria. The whole forms a very picturesque group of buildings, the stonework of the older part offering a strong but agreeable contrast to the irregular wood and plaster work set against it.
There is no trace of the building ever having been of larger extent than at present, and the original structure no doubt consisted simply of a single peel tower with wooden buildings adjoining. The masonry of the tower is in a very good state of preservation, and at the north-east corner are the remains of a projecting vice perfect still at the top, but cut away in recent times in the lower story. In the north-west corner is still the shaft of a garderobe projecting from the main structure, and there is a garderobe cut in the thickness of the wall, probably at a later date. The original tower would be about 35 ft. high, and consisted of three low stories, evidences of which still remain in the old blocked window-openings which can be seen from the outside—two on the ground floor, one on the upper floor, and five on the original top floor. These windows were of two lights on the two lower stories, and of one light above. There are also the remains of a window almost entirely destroyed on the north side, near what is now the pantry door, and further remains of another window above it, now internal, proving that at this time there were no buildings adjoining the tower proper on the north side. (VCH)

Built circa 1420, possibly by John de Torboc, the manor came to the William Orrellin 1475, The Orrells relatives, the de Lathorn and Torboc families had claims to the manor and the tower had some defensive purpose. The manor was a small one held for a part (a quarter or an eighth) of a Knight's fee.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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