HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Wraysholme Tower

Hob Uid: 39545
Location :
Cumbria
South Lakeland
Lower Allithwaite
Grid Ref : SD3832075420
Summary : Pele tower, probably late 15th century in date, now used as a cow house with a barn over. It is built of dressed stone and has a slate roof. The tower is square and was originally of three storeys. It was extended in the 17th, 19th and 20th centuries.
More information : [SD 38327542] Wraysholme Tower [GT] (1)

"..... In 1489 the main part of the manor [of Allithwaite], then known as Wraysholme was in the King's hands and he gave it to George Lord Strange and his heirs male. Thus the second earl of Derby held it at his death in 1521, the service of one Knight's fee being due for it ..... Wraysholme descended to Ferdinando the fifth earl but a few years after his death in 1594 it was sold to the Diccousons, who had been lessees." The family remained in possession until the Civil war when the estate was sequestered."... At this point the family is lost sight of. A century later, in 1756 the Tower was purchased by John Carter of Cart Lane; from him it went by marriage to the Harrisons of the Landing near Newby Bridge, and so passed to Mr Thos. Newby Wilson of the same place and Ambleside.
The tower is a good example of a pele-tower. Erected probably in the latter half of the 15th c. it measures externally 40ft. by 28ft. 6ins the longer length being from N-S. It is built in local limestone rubble with angle quoins .... The tower now forms part of the buildings of a modern farmhouse which is attached to it on the west side, erected in 1848, but whether it originally stood alone or belonged to a larger building the remainder of which has disappeared it is impossible to say. There is no inherent reason, however, to suppose that it was anything more than an isolated tower ...... There was formerly some coloured glass in the windows with the arms of Harrington, but it has all disappeared. Three diamond quarries, however, with the Stanley badge and crest of the eagle's claw, and the eagle & child, and the intials possibly of Hugh Diccouson are preserved in the adjoining farmhouse". (2)

"To the north, not far from the shore are the scanty remains of Wraysholme Tower a fortified house of a junior branch of the Harringtons of Aldingham, in the 14thc. but now degraded into a cowhouse. The masonry is strong, but the building has been diminished to a mere shell. The Bares were the oldest owners within memory; from there it passed to the Carters, and is now the property of Miles Harrison of Landing in Coulton, esq". (3)

Wraysholme once guarded the oversands route, standing at the high water mark. Because of the frequency and ferocity of Scots incursions, the Harringtons, as wardens of this coast, raised a castlet at 'Raisholm' after the devastation of 1322. The ground floor is now a cowshed, the upper floors are ruinated. (4)

The description by authority (2) is correct. The tower is of three stories with a slightly projecting parapet corbelled out from the main wall which is 1.2m thick at base, diminishing slightly at the upper floor levels. The tower was apparently surmounted by four corner turrets but traces of only three remain. There is a turret staircase in the SW corner and at the SE corner a projection rising to the full height of the tower and containing small chambers with small slit windows. Inside the tower there are fireplaces at each floor level, one with a flat Tudor type lintel. The remaining original windows are of two lights, each with a trefoil cusped head, and some small square openings with chamfered surrounds. The original entrance with a pointed arch is at the north end of the west wall. The roof of the tower is modern.
The tower is in generally poor condition with large cracks appearing in the walls. The ground floor is used as a cow byre and the two upper floors, now one, as a hay loft. The name Wraysholme Tower was confirmed by the tenant Mrs. Morris. She had no knowledge of the coats of arms referred to by authority (2). The architecture, with the integral fireplace, would point to a 15th cent date as stated by authority (2) rather than the 14th cent origin assigned to it by authorities (3) & (4). (5)

Wraysholme Tower. prob. 14th Century. Gde 2*. (6)

Wraysholme Tower A peel tower, now a barn over a cowhouse, probably late 15th century. A good example of a peel tower unaltered by post-medieval domestic use. Grade 2*. (7)

Documented with plan and illustration. An illustration and description from VCH Lancashire show the tower as fortified with corner turrets and battlements, and there is evidence of a crease in the tower wall indicating a former adjacent hall built after the tower was erected. (8)

Listed by Cathcart King. (9)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1919
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Victoria County History of Lancashire
Source details : 1914 (W. Farrer and J. Brownbill)
Page(s) : 266
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 8
Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : History of Lancashire Vol 4 1835 p732 (G. Baines)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Curious Traveller, Lancaster to Lakeland 1956 pp58-59 (J. Lofthouse)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 EG 25-JUN-58
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : South Lakeland, 25-03-1970
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 1269
Source Number : 7
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE Listed Buildings Dist of South Lakeland Cumbria 15.2.89 p36
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 8
Source : The medieval fortified buildings of Cumbria : an illustrated gazetteer and research guide
Source details :
Page(s) : 372
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : vol.29
Source Number : 9
Source : Castellarium anglicanum : an index and bibliography of the castles in England, Wales and the islands. Volume I : Anglesey - Montgomery
Source details :
Page(s) : 248
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built late C15
Monument End Date : 1499
Monument Start Date : 1467
Monument Type : Pele Tower, Fortified House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Extended early C16
Monument End Date : 1532
Monument Start Date : 1500
Monument Type : Hall House
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C17
Monument End Date : 1699
Monument Start Date : 1600
Monument Type : Farmhouse, Date Stone
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C19
Monument End Date : 1900
Monument Start Date : 1801
Monument Type : Farmhouse, Date Stone
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : By 1989
Monument End Date : 1989
Monument Start Date :
Monument Type : Barn, Cow House
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : C20
Monument End Date : 1999
Monument Start Date : 1900
Monument Type : House
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : CU 355
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 77025
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 7524
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SD 37 NE 23
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, FIELD OBSERVATION ON SD 37 NE 23
Activity type : FIELD OBSERVATION (VISUAL ASSESSMENT)
Start Date : 1958-06-25
End Date : 1958-06-25