Kentmere Hall is a stunning 14th century tunnel-vaulted pele tower with five-foot thick walls. The turrets, one of the original windows and the spiral staircase remain. The tower was extended in the 15th or 16th century into a residence and is now a farmhouse. The tower sits at the end of the Kentmere valley a most picturesque area of South Lakeland.
The tower has a 20th century flat roof replacing the original pitched roof; it was originally 4 storeys including a vaulted ground floor; it has slit openings with flat heads; there is a medieval window in the south wall of 2 trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with moulded label and a blank panel over.
The 2 storey house has 20th century windows and doors, one of which retains the original stone surround; the passage doorway has a pointed head and continuous chamfered jamb; there is a small window with stone mullions to rear. The interior of the tower has a garderobe projection to the North West corner; a spiral staircase and blocked doorway (probably original entrance) is in the North East corner.
The Hall is built on private property, however the bridleway\public footpath runs along side the farm affording excellent views.
Kentmere Hall’s claim to fame, is that Bernard Gilpin, was born there in 1517. Bernard Gilpin was a famous preacher in Henry VIII’s time and a leading churchmen in the troubled times of the reign of Mary Tudor. He became a Fellow at the Queen’s College, Oxford, Rector of Thornton-le-Moors, Vicar of Norton, Rector of Houghton-le-Spring and Archdeacon of Durham but declined the bishopric of Carlisle, He was known as the “Apostle of the north” and died at Houghton-le-Spring, Co. Durham in 1583.
Photos by Matthew Emmott.
Related Links :
- Heritage Blog: Cumbria’s fortified history… – by Matthew Emmott.
- Wikipedia Kentmere – with much information on the Gilpin Family.
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