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Bowness on Solway

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Bolness; Bolnes; Bulnesse; Bownes; Old Rectory

In the civil parish of Bowness.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland.

OS Map Grid Reference: NY22416257
Latitude 54.95201° Longitude -3.21334°

Bowness on Solway has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are no visible remains.


Bowness Tower is listed by Curwen as a 14th century Peel Tower, first mentioned in 1539, and stated to have belonged to the parsonage in 1580.
Graham presumes that this was the building which stood near the gate to the present rectory, and whose foundations were so solid that gunpowder had to be used to demolish them in 1860. (PastScape)

The rector of Bowness on Solway dwelt in a fortalice close to the churchyard wall, the vestiges of which were only recently demolished.
In 1464 William Raa, registrar of the diocese of Carlisle, made this entry in the bishop's accounts of that year: ' De fine rectoris de Bowness pro una litera questandi pro reparacione unius domus defensionis ibidem non respondet hie quia conceditur per dominum gratis' (Diocesan MS.). Leland says that 'Bolnes ys at the Poynt or Playne of the Ryver of Edon wher ys a lytle poore Steple as a Fortelet for a brunt, and yt ys on hyther syde of the Ryver of Edon, abowt a viii. myles from Cair Luel'. In a survey of Border fortresses made by Christopher Dacre in 1580, the condition of 'Bownes Towre' is thus described: 'This house or towre doth belonge to ye parsonage theire, standing about 4 miles west and by north from ye said house of Drumburghe adioyning to the sea criek wch devideth ye English and Scotesche borders and the furthest parte towardes ye west, yt ye Scotts may enter otherwise then by botinge, and about a mile and a half over the same criek to Scotland at a full sea, a place of small receipt and yet very necessairy for defence of ye parte of the Border, partly decayed, the charges of wch reparacon with a plattforme for ordinance wch were necessarie to be made upon ye same towre is esteamed to £40 and without the platforme to £10 ' (S. P. Dom. Eliz. Add. xxvii. 44 (3)). A wall of this tower was standing close to the rectory in 1856. (VCH)

A 'watch tower' (a vaulted chamber block) attached to a hall. Although a rectory should be considered a gentry status building.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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