Thursday, August 18, 2011

Burneside Hall, Burneside Nr Kendal

Burneside Hall
Near Kendal

I first visited Burneside Hall in April of fact, it was the first pele tower I'd ever seen and it was probably the building that set me off on this quest to photograph all of Cumbria's towers and castles. So it came as a great surprise when I realised that I had no photos on the blog, and no information about this wonderful old tower.

Burneside lies around two and a half miles North of Kendal. The hall and tower of Burneside sit to the North West of the village, and consist of the 14th century ruins of a large pele tower and hall attached to the East of the tower.

Above. Burneside Hall from Scout Scar (I think!)

Machell's antiquary sketches of Burneside Hall show a three storeyed tower with an embattled roof line. These days it is in ruins, to such an extent that in 2011 it made English Heritage's 'At Risk' register. The tower measures around 13 by 9 metres. The gable walls probably stand to their original height, as does the South wall which borders the hall, whilst the front, or North wall, has largely collapsed down to first floor level.

Above. Plan of the tower and surrounding enclosures, walls and gatehouse.

Above. View of the hall showing the ornamental pond and mound on which the tower stands.

Above. Close up of the tower.

The lower parts of the North wall are formed out of the walls of a former enclosure that is thought to pre-date the tower. Several reports produced regarding the tower here at Burneside make mention of this much older feature, suggesting that the site is much older than the 14th century tower. The difference in building materials can clearly be seen in the photo above.

Above. Early sketch of Burneside hall and its attendant buildings.

The enclose, which lies to the North of the tower, was first recognised in the 1936 RCHM survey. It measured some 11 metres square with walls around a metre thick. It stands in places, to around one and a half metres high, and is pretty much complete.

Above. The well preserved gatehouse.

The gatehouse lies to the West of the tower, and was most likely built in the 16th century, and possibly is contemporary with the remodelling of the hall. The original doors, made of oak, appear to still be in situ, although now not mounted on their hinges. It is thought that the gatehouse has, at some point, been reduced in size, as foundations are visible in the grass to the South of its walls. Whether this was due to collapse or deliberate rebuilding is not known. 

Above. The gatehouse from outside the barmkyn wall.

 To the North of the gatehouse, an 8 metre stretch of barmkyn or curtain wall can still be seen. This apparently still retains a rough parapet walk. This tiny stretch of wall can be seen to the left of the gatehouse in the photo above. 

Above. The tower with the hall to the rear.

There are numerous foundation marks running along the length of the wall near to the gatehouse, and Machell's sketches show a number of buildings built against the inside of the wall. There is also evidence of fishponds and other unidentified earthworks to the West and South of the tower.

Great views of the tower can be had from Hall road, though parking is very tricky owing to the narrow roads.

Below. A small selection of old postcards and prints of Burneside Hall.


Nordsmetal said...

i love that gatehouse, aand beautiful pictures, i woul like to get here once

Anonymous said...

My family were tenant farmers here. Hoping to visit