Fox Tower, Brough
The Fox Tower was built as part of a large estate for John Metcalf Carleton in 1775. Mr Carleton was an industrial entrepreneur who lived at Helbeck Hall, a Georgian Gothic style mansion he had built outside Brough. Little is left of his cotton mill. The function of the Tower remains a puzzle, but it was probably built as folly for enjoying the splendid views across the Eden Valley and into Mallerstang.
The Tower is on private land, within the Warcop danger area, but can be seen at a distance from Brough Castle and the A66. Looking towards the Pennines from the Castle, The Tower is clearly visible amid the trees of Helbeck Wood on the rocky slopes of the fells.
From ‘Secrets & Legends of Old Westmoreland’ by Dawn Robertson and Peter Koronka.
Nearby is Helbeck Hall, a private house, which seems to have had many variations on its name over the years: Hill Beck; Helsbeck; Hillbeck; Hillebeck. Even today it is Helbeck Hall on the 1:50,000 map, and Hellbeck Hall on the 1:25,000. Hellbeck was the seat of the Helbeck family until 1314 when the last Helbeck married a Blenkinsop. It may contain the remains of a tower house.
Aerial photos by Simon Ledingham.
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