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Randalholme Hall, Alston Moor

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Randalholm; Raynerholme; Kirkhaugh

In the civil parish of Alston Moor.
In the historic county of Cumberland.
Modern Authority of Cumbria.
1974 county of Cumbria.
Medieval County of Cumberland (Tynedale Liberty).

OS Map Grid Reference: NY70794855
Latitude 54.83093° Longitude -2.45606°

Randalholme Hall, Alston Moor has been described as a probable Tower House, and also as a probable Bastle.

There are major building remains.

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


Large house, of several periods, incorporating a C14 tower. The west range consists of two C16 builds linked by an added staircase bay to the tower of late C17 appearance with C18 alterations. C19 additions include a washhouse to the east and a porch to the north side. The west range is of coursed rubble with quoins. The tower is of large sandstone blocks with quoins and a moulded cornice with two blank shields on each of the north and south sides. The replacement Welsh slate roof has corniced stone end chimneys. A former house, the oldest part of the west range, is now a byre. Tower has segmental barrel vault to ground floor; remains of mural stairs. (Listed Building Report)

Randalhome, Alston, a fourteenth century peel tower, originally the manor house of Kirkhaugh, first mentioned in 1370. A Tudor wing was added circa 1600 and remodelled in classical style circa 1650 (Collingwood; Curwen).
The peel tower, of three stories with added attic and gabled roof, forms the SE corner of a later farmhouse. It measures 8.3m x 7.7m with walls 1.7m thick, and contains an original doorway, leading into a barrel-vaulted basement. The later additions are not outstanding (LS Reviser (BA Cowling 24.7.80)).
Adjacent to the Hall is a range containing a bastle. (PastScape)

An ancient peel-house, now white-washed, with an armorial escutcheon of stone on the north front, stands near the foot-path. This is Randalholme Hall, formerly the seat of the family of Randals, one of whom, William Randal Featherstonhaugh Ricardson Randal, is buried in the parish church. The estate has been recently purchased by the Commissioners and Governors of Greenwich Hospital. The substitution of a slated roof and gables in place of the old flat lead roof and battlements, and its occupation as a farm-house, have materially lessened the antiquity of its appearance, which well comported with its massive walls, some of which are upwards of seven feet in thickness. (Sopwith 1833)

Nicholas de Vipont is recorded as having a 'capital messuage' at Randalholme in 1315, Robert, son of Nichols de Veteriponte held Raynerholm in 1373.

Although called a 'peel-house' by Sopwith he is clearly describing a something more than a chamber over a brye. This is a multi-storey building of baronial status and, therefore, a tower house in the terms used in Gatehouse. Although small for such tower houses it does seem to have been an integral building, although it is likely the current attached building had medieval precursors although as farm and secondary buildings.
However, although the site of a baronial residence Jessop and Whitfield date this as a C16 building from a time when this site was not really baronial in status and this building may be better considered to be a higher status bastlehouse type bastle (not to be confused with the possible attached pelehouse bastle.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
PastScape   County HER       Listing   I. O. E.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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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 26/07/2017 09:21:28

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