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Catterlen Hall, Newton Reigny

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY47803207
Latitude 54.68097° Longitude -2.81110°

Catterlen Hall, Newton Reigny has been described as a probable Fortified Manor House, and also as a certain Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.


Fortified tower house, built circa 1460, to replace an earlier C12 tower house (see Catterlen Old Hall). In 1577 an Elizabethan wing was added to the south of the tower and in 1657 a Renaissance wing was added to the south end of the Elizabethan wing. The tower has thick pink sandstone block walls on projecting boulder plinth, with projecting battlemented parapets and stone water spouts. There is a flat roof which is not visible. The hall ranges have have similar, but thinner walls, under a graduated greenslate roof with large red sandstone chimney stacks. The tower is rectangular and of two storeys over a vaulted basement. (PastScape)

The monument includes the upstanding mid-15th century tower house at Catterlen Hall. It has walls up to 1m thick and is constructed of thick pink sandstone blocks on a projecting boulder plinth. The tower lies at the northern end of a range of later buildings. It has external dimensions of 9.1m by 5.9m and is entered through an off-centre Tudor-arched doorway on the southern side which leads into a ground floor barrel-vaulted basement lit by five loopholes or narrow windows. Access to the upper floors is by a newel stairway entered through a narrow passage in the thickness of the wall immediately within the entrance. The first floor was a solar (private chamber), usually a bedroom or living room, attached to which is a small closet thought to have been a garderobe or toilet. The main window is in the east wall and there are small windows in the north and west walls. Originally there was a fireplace in the south wall. The second floor was the sleeping chamber. It is lit by windows in the north and east walls, both with stone seats in the jambs. In the west wall there is a gap where a doorway led onto a wooden bretasche or platform used for defensive purposes. The newel stair continues up to a flat roof and a projecting battlemented parapet with stone water spouts.
Catterlen Hall tower house is thought to have been constructed c.1460 by William de Vaulx and replaced an earlier tower, the earthwork remains of which lie a short distance to the north. In 1577 an Elizabethan wing was added to the south of the tower and in 1657 a Renaissance wing was added to the south end of the Elizabethan wing. During the 1970's and 80's the tower was renovated. This work was clearly undertaken very carefully and with the preservation of the tower as a monument clearly in mind. Consequently all works were designed to have minimal impact on the medieval fabric. The monument is a Listed Building Grade I. The 16th and 17th century wings, which are inhabited, are not included in the scheduling. (Scheduling Report)

Fortified tower with later hall wings. Early C15 with C16 ranges dated on panel over entrance inscribed with Vaux coat-of-arms R.V. A.V. (Roland and Annie Vaux) AT THIS TYME IS ROWLANDE VAUX LORDE OF THYS PLACE AND BUILDED THIS HALL YR OF GOD 1577 (previously assumed to be in its original position), with alterations dated 1652 on panel of Richmond arms over further entrance, for Christopher Richmond. Tower has thick pink sandstone block walls on projecting boulder plinth, with projecting battlemented parapets and stone water spouts. Flat roof not visible. Hall ranges have similar, but thinner walls, under graduated greenslate roof with large red sandstone chimney stacks. Rectangular tower of 2 storeys over vaulted basement. Adjoining lower 2-storey, 6-bay hall with right-angled 2-bay extension and basement of demolished bays, forming overall L-shape. Tower retains all its medieval features and does not form part of the present domestic accommodation of the hall. Ground-floor small chamfered-surround loops light vaulted basement. Upper-floor 2-light stone-mullioned windows with cusped heads and hoodmoulds, that on first floor with panel above of Vaux arms. Rear 2nd-floor doorway led to a former bretasche supported by 3 surviving corbel stones. Hall has off-centre Tudor-arched doorway under inscribed panel. 2- and 3-light stone-mullioned windows with round-headed lights; one right ground-floor window now a doorway under a blocked window. Large right projecting chimney breast. Extension has broad central stone steps to first-floor elaborate C17 alternate-block doorway, the arch of raised projecting bands, all under panel of arms and pediments. 3-light C17 stone-mullioned windows under hoodmoulds. Rear of hall has similar windows, 2 coverted to doorways, and left external spiral stair turret. Rear of extension has irregular 2- and 3-light C16 windows and large C17 mullioned and transomed windows, now blocked but with painted glazing bars. Extension continues to left as a vaulted cellar reached by spiral stair, but now has C20 garage built over and is only evident from the rear. Interior: the tower has angle spiral staircase for full height, entered by medieval doorway from hall. Original fireplaces and window seats. Hall has segmental stone-arched inglenook and C16 beamed ceilings. Mural straight stair to upper-floor with later spiral stair to rear. Interior of extension has 2 C17 chimney pieces inscribed C.M.R. 1657 (Christopher & Mabel Richmond) (Listed Building Report)

A basement in the east end of the south range is of similar form and possibly date to the tower and Peter Ryder suggests the house may have been a quadrangular courtyard house with towers on a least two corners. It is certainly possible that such a form was planned at one stage, although that plan may never have been finished.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:31

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