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Isel Hall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ishall; Yshale; Isehale

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY15843368
Latitude 54.69120° Longitude -3.30698°

Isel Hall has been described as a certain Fortified Manor House, and also as a certain Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

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


Tower house and hall wing. Late C14 or early C15 with late C15 hall and C16 extension with C19 alterations. Tower of extremely thick calciferous sandstone rubble walls with flush quoins, under battlemented parapet; gabled greenslate roof within parapets. Hall and wing of mixed calciferous and red sandstone walls, under graduated greenslate roof with C19 yellow brick chimney stacks. Rectangular tower of vaulted basement and 3 storeys over. Hall adjoins north angle of tower almost at right-angles: 2 storeys, 5 bays with 3-storey, 6-bay extension under common roof. Tower has some original loops but mostly irregular 2-light C16 windows under hoodmoulds. Hall and extension have 2- and 3-light Tudor windows and doorway, the parapet with shaped finials. Rear has irregular Tudor doorways and windows. The rear wall of the hall has 2 buttresses. Interior of tower has newel and straight stairs in thickness of walls. Garderobe chamber. Interior of hall has Tudor panelling with traces of contemporary painting. (Listed Building Report)

The situation of the hall is most picturesque, in the midst of a charming, undulating, and well-wooded country. It stands on a considerably sloping bank, close to the deep and rapid waters of the Derwent, which here bend round its southern face; and it is bounded on the west by a mountain beck, which falls into the river. The position was no doubt originally chosen for defence, and the old keep, which still remains in its entirety, presents a good example of a border pele tower still in a habitable condition.
The defences of the rudimental fortalice were strengthened by a moat on the land side. The depression formed by the ditch is fairly traceable on the east side of the tower, and on the north side the line would be continued through the bell, which afterwards came to be converted into a pleasaunce and terraced garden. It is supposed that the mediaeval approach to the place was by a drawbridge over the moat at this part. On the west side all vestiges of the ditch have been obliterated by the carriage drive and avenue from the high road, and by later improvements. So far as can be made out of the scarp of the moat was distant by several yards from the tower. (Taylor 1893)
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:53

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