Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Whittington, Whittington Hall

Whittington Hall

The current building, obliquely photographed and shown below, was built in 1831. Its listed building status (Grade II) states that "a pele tower rises above the roofs, with octagonal turret, perhaps partly original." It's quite likely that this building, constructed from designs by George Webster, famous Kendalian architect, for Thomas Greene MP, was built around an earlier building, but we'll never know for sure what form this building took....whether it had any characteristics that would have enabled us to label it as a tower or a fortified manor. In 1887, Lancaster based firm Paley and Austin were employed to make some changes and additions to the hall.

Above. Oblique view of Whittington Hall from the church yard.

General consensus seems to be that there may have been several Whittington Halls, in terms of the manor hall for the Whittington estates, located in various places in and around the village of Whittington. Before 1066, the village of Whittington was important enough to have been the caput of a large estate, incorporating Newton, Arkholme, Gressingham, Hutton Roof, Cantsfield, Ireby, Burrow, Leck, Burton-in-Lonsdale, Barnoldswick, Ingleton, Casterton, Barbon, Sedbergh and Thirnby. Some of these estate holdings ended up with their own Norman centres of administration in the form of motte and bailey earthwork castles, namely, Whittington itself, Arkholme, Burton-in-Lonsdale and Sedbergh. As with many areas in this part of the North West, Whittington and its estates were originally part of the Saxon Earl Tostig's holdings....but after William the Conqueror's invasion in 1066, the lands soon passed to the crown.

The hall is now pretty impossible to see from any public right of way. Even from West Hall Lane, which runs to the West and to the North of the hall, clever use of trees and woodland has managed to hide the hall from prying eyes. The only view of any of the buildings I could find, were from the church yard looking West.

Whittington's village website is well worth a look.

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