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Brackenhill Tower

Hob Uid: 11561
Location :
Cumbria
Carlisle
Arthuret
Grid Ref : NY4457069480
Summary : Brackenhill Tower is a fortified Border tower house, its importance stemming from the fact that it is a unique example of a Scottish-style tower sitting on English soil. It was built in 1584, for the Graham family, replacing an earlier tower which may have dated to the 13th century or earlier. Constructed from large blocks of red sandstone rubble, the external elevations are virtually unaltered from its original state. The walls are five feet thick and rise to forty feet in height and there is a double gabled slated roof which is surrounded by a corbelled and battlemented parapet. In 1717, the fifth Richard Graham constructed a brick cottage to the south east of the tower. These are the earliest signs of the site being consolidated. There is no evidence of the sort of alterations which would have been expected such as the enlargement of windows, when what was essentially a medieval tower continued in use as a Georgian house. One alteration was the insertion of the present west doorway of the basement and possibly the superstructure of the tower at attic level as the two end chimneys look to be of this date. It remains uncertain whether the roof trusses are contemporary with the stacks or were later alterations in 1860. Towards the end of the 18th century the property was sold to the Stephenson family, (the family name later changed to Standish), who built a new dining room and kitchen. In 1860 the tower and the cottage seem to have adjoined corner-to-corner, with a physical internal link, and a porch was added at the front of the original tower. It appears that the tower and cottage were linked together to form a hunting lodge. The ground of Brackenhill contains a planned hunting landscape which was commissioned by the Standish family specifically for recreational hunting. By the end of World War II the Carlyle family were the tenants and in 1946, when the Standish Estate was put up for sale, the Carlyle's acquired the Brackenhill Estate.
More information : (NY 445695) Brackenhill Tower (GT)
(NY 446695) Tower (GT) (1)

"Built by Richard Graham and dated 1586, yet still a pele tower of
medieval type, with the vaulted ground-stage and the spiral stair in the corner. Corbelled-out battlements and a pitched roof with stepped gables". (2)

Description correct. The tower is in fair condition and measures 11.0m by 8.0m with walls 1.5m thick.
See photograph. (3)

Brackenhill Tower, Grade 2*. (4)

House. Dated 1586 on stone in wall, for the Graham family, replacing earlier tower; extension dated and inscribed over R.G. J.G. 1717, further extensions dated 1860 on rainwater head for the Standish family. Tower of large blocks of red sandstone rubble on chamfered plinth, string course, corbelled battlemented parapet, projecting rainwater spouts; gabled slate roof within the parapet, end stone chimney stacks: C18 brick extension with graduated green slate roof, brick chimney stack; C19 extension of dressed red sandstone with raised quoins, corbelled battlemented parapet, flat roof, stone chimney stack. Scottish baronial square tower of 2 storeys and basement, with 2-storey 1860 extension to right and 2-storey, 3-bay 1717 extension at right angles. Tower has 1860 battlemented porch with side entrance, coat of arms of Standish Family above. First floor enlarged window in roll moulded architrave with wrought iron grille; one enlarged window above and 2 smaller original windows. Ground floor side entrance to tower has studded plank door in moulded wooden architrave. Rear wall has blocked first floor doorway. Interior has vaulted ground floor chamber; newel stair gives access to the upper storeys. Brick extension has plank door in chamfered surround, blocked similar entrance to right. 2-light stone mullioned windows. 1860 extension has to rear, the present entrance, studded plank door in roll moulded architrave, large staircase window above; blank wall to left has projecting chimney breast. End wall left has canted bay window. See Curwen, Castles and Towers, 1913, pp.352-3; Transactions Cumberland & Westmorland Aniquarian & Archaeological Society, new series, viii, pp.375-6. (5)

Listed with plan and photograph. (6)

Plans to restore the tower and convert it into an 8-bedroom home. (7)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1957
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Cumberland and Westmorland
Source details :
Page(s) : 74
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 BHP 22-OCT-72
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Border Rural Dsitrict, JAN-1948
Page(s) : 1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : Carlisle, 15-JUN-1984
Page(s) : 1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 152
Source Number : 6
Source : The medieval fortified buildings of Cumbria : an illustrated gazetteer and research guide
Source details :
Page(s) : 227
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : vol.29
Source Number : 7
Source : The Castle Studies Group Journal
Source details :
Page(s) : 123
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 21, 2007-8

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built in 1584
Monument End Date : 1584
Monument Start Date : 1584
Monument Type : Tower House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Built in 1717
Monument End Date : 1717
Monument Start Date : 1717
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Altered in 1860
Monument End Date : 1860
Monument Start Date : 1860
Monument Type : Hunting Lodge
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 86683
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 78085
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : NY 46 NW 2
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON NY 46 NW 2
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1972-10-22
End Date : 1972-10-22
Associated Activities : Primary, INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14