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Hudswell Tower

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Culloden Tower; Cumberland Temple

In the civil parish of Richmond.
In the historic county of Yorkshire.
Modern Authority of North Yorkshire.
1974 county of North Yorkshire.
Medieval County of Yorkshire North Riding.

OS Map Grid Reference: NZ16710073
Latitude 54.40182° Longitude -1.74408°

Hudswell Tower has been described as a probable Pele Tower.

There are no visible remains.

This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Banqueting house, built by John Yorke in 1746, possibly to the designs of Daniel Garrett. It is of two storeys, octagonal in plan and constructed of ashlar. It stands on, or close to, the site of Hudswell Tower or Peel, which was built before 1354 but demolished by the 1730s. Otherwise known as the Culloden Tower, built circa 1746 to commemorate that battle, on the site of an earlier pele tower, of which the rectangular base in rubble may be part. This now forms an undercroft, used as a barn with a cellar below. Above is a two-storeyed tower in ashlar, octagonal, and joined to the rectangular base by broaches. Purchased by the Landmark Trust in 1981 and restored by them. Also formerly known as the Cumberland Temple, or The Temple. Originally a banqueting house built by John Yorke I in 1746 possibly to the designs of Daniel Garrett and stands on, or close to the site of Hudswell Tower or Peel, dated before 1354 but demolished by the 1730s. Clarkson is the authority for Culloden Tower being built on the remains of Hudswell Tower but recent research has failed to find any further evidence to corroborate this. (PastScape)

The Temple or Cumberland Tower was built in commemoration of the battle of Culloden, and stands apparently on the site of the old Hudswell Tower, said to have been built in the reign of Edward II by William de Hudswell (Christ. Clarkson, op. cit. 328. For the position of Hudswell Tower see R. Harman, Plan of the South Prospect of Richmond, 1724.). (VCH)

In the mid-14th century a local businessman called William de Hudswell built a corn mill on the bank of the river swale, to the south of the site, known as the Green Mill. This was a controversial move as the two corn mills already in the area were protected by ‘soke’, a medieval manorial custom preventing competition. Due to this the legality of the mill was challenged by a Bégard monk called Geoffrey. Despite this the Green Mill, which operated as both a corn mill and a fulling mill, continued in use up until 1765 when Thomas Yorke wished to stop commercial users passing through his landscaped gardens. Around the same time, Hudswell also built a peele tower on the high ground to the west of the site. Both of these structures can be identified on the insert plan of Richmond on Speeds 1610 map of Yorkshire (Figure 3, numbers 16 and 17) (Hatcher 2000). (Archaeological Services, 2005)

PastScape cite Clarkson without a page number but Gatehouse can not find anything about the peel tower in Clarkson. The VCH cites Clarkson p. 328 but again this page does not mention Hudswell Tower. It is unusual for a VCH to have errors of citation but this seems to be so (I have checked the BHO transcription against copy and the BHO transcription, at the given link, is a true transcription).
Speed's map of Richmond does definitely show a tower like structure on a hill the the west of Richmond and above Green Mill numbered and named 'Hudswell tower', this is entirely consistent with a location under or near the Culloden Tower. The historic evidence for William de Hudswell building a mill is clear, the evidence he built the tower shown on Speed's map appears to be conjectural, although not entirely unreasonable.
The Gothick Culloden Tower is now run by the Landmark Trust as a holiday let.
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This record last updated 15/08/2017 15:56:49

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