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Tindale Tarn House

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ternehouse; The terne howse

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

OS Map Grid Reference: NY60555848
Latitude 54.91943° Longitude -2.61688°

Tindale Tarn House has been described as a certain Pele Tower.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

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


Farmhouse, formerly tower house. Late C15 for Humphrey, Lord Dacre, with extensions and alterations dated 1843 over entrance and initials T.(&) M.H. on inscribed stone set into wall. Calciferous sandstone rubble walls, over one metre thick and in places 2 metres thick in tower; wall of tower raised by about 3 courses when gabled roof added 1843; graduated slate roof with eaves modillions, yellow brick chimney stacks on stone bases. 2 storeys; 3-bay tower with 2-bay extension under common roof. Tower has projecting stone gabled porch with plank door and dated lintel. Angle buttress to left, with probable filled entrance between this and porch. Original small filled ground floor window to right; small windows above are 1843. Rear wall has large footing stones and plinth. Original ground floor entrance is filled; windows all of 1843. Extension left has plank door with plain stone surround. Ground floor 2-light sash windows with glazing bars; similar 2-pane sashes above. Rear wall includes older stonework, which may be from the curtain wall referred to by Curwen. See Transactions Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society, xi, p234, which refers to a document of 1485 mentioning 'a new built house called Ternehouse'. Overlooks Tindale Tarn and on a good defensive site. (Listed Building Report)

Considerable portions of an old pele, with its curtain walls, remain incorporated into farmbuildings dated 1823 (Curwen).
The remains of the peel abut the west side of Tarn House. It is in a good state of repair. Traces of the barmkin wall are still visible incorporated in the fabric of the house (F1 BHP 03-JUL-72). (PastScape)

Curwen describes as a pele tower with curtain walls. Curwen gives no source for his statements, but may have visited the site.
1485 Ipm of Humfrey Dacre gives a reference to a 'new built house there called Ternehouse wch (is) ...for getting of Seacole' (TCWAAS (2), xi, 234 and CRO Carlisle Ca/1485). There are other 17th century references in Household Accounts of Naworth and TCWAAS (2) xix, 108.
Important site because there is a firm date for the building. Extremely roughly coursed unsquared rubble. There may have been a tower at the west end and there may be remains of curtain walls. (Perriam and Robinson 1998)

Shown on Saxton's map of 1579 as a tower.
A building, in fact, originally of baronial status, although not a residence used by the Dacre lords but an administrative building for exploiting their estates, initially for coal mining (see Industrial History of Cumbria) and, seemingly, for cheese making in some scale in the C17.
The steward of the Dacre's may have actually been a 'gentleman' (Such a position may well have gone to a younger son of a local minor knight.) but the esteem of the family would require a reasonable status building, possibly with some martial features (like a crenellated tower), it is also likely that the building needed some defence to protect the moneys held in it and as a probably target for any local discontent.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:29

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