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Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire

In the civil parish of Ightenhill.
In the historic county of Lancashire.
Modern Authority of Lancashire.
1974 county of Lancashire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SD80703412
Latitude 53.80283° Longitude -2.29478°

Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire has been described as a probable Pele Tower.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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

Description

Country house of 1600-05, possibly built around a pre-existing pele tower. The interior was drastically restored by Charles Barry in 1849-51. Now owned by the National Trust. (PastScape ref. Pevesner)

Country house, 1600-1605, for Rev. Lawrence Shuttleworth, possibly to plans influenced by Robert Smythson; altered c.1850-60 by Sir Charles Barry; now museum. Coursed sandstone with ashlar dressings. This house is the only example in this county of the late Elizabethan type associated with Smythson (e.g. Wollaton, Hardwicke, Bolsover, Worksop). Relevant features of the building are: the compact plan within a rectangle, surrounding a tower (which is off-centre and possibly of medieval origin); the high 3-storey elevations over a basement kitchen (basement exposed at rear making 4 storeys) with the tower rising above; the symmetrical 5-bay facade composed of full-height porch and flanking semi-octagonal bays; and the internal plan placing the great hall not in the centre but to one side. Original interior features of particular interest are the screen and gallery in the hall, the panelling and plaster work in the dining room (now drawing room), overmantels in two 1st floor chambers, and the long gallery on the 2nd floor. (Listed Building Report)

There was a medieval manor with deer park in Ightenhill but this was not Gawthorpe and the park was disemparked in 1519, although it was leased by the Shuttleworths of Gawthorpe after this (VCH 6 p. 487-9). This would mean that supposed earlier tower was a modest tower house (i.e. a pele tower) of gentry or even yeoman status (Richard Shuttleworth, a lawyer, was knighted in 1589 but before that the family were not gentry)

The evidence for an earlier pele tower surviving within the property seems to be the opinion of Pevsner and is not supported by actual architectural or documentary evidence. Goodall seems to suggest the whole building, including the stair turret, was a new build of the early C17. Tenurially a pele tower is not impossible or even unlikely although probably of a later date than most (C15 rather than C14) as the Shuttleworth family only gradually gained in social status.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape           Listing   I. O. E.
Maps >
OS getamap   Streetmap   Old-Maps   Where's the path      
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated on Saturday, March 29, 2014

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