Hazelslack Tower


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Lakeland (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 47628 78813


Hazelslack Tower.

Reasons for Designation

Tower houses, including pele towers, are a type of defensible house particularly characteristic of the borderlands of England and Scotland. Virtually every parish had at least one of these buildings. Solitary tower houses comprise a single square or rectangular `keep' several storeys high, with strong barrel-vaults tying together massive outer walls. Many towers had stone slab roofs, often with a parapet walk. Access could be gained through a ground floor entrance or at first floor level where a doorway would lead directly to a first floor hall. Solitary towers were normally accompanied by a small outer enclosure defined by a timber or stone wall and called a barmkin. Tower houses were being constructed and used from at least the 13th century to the end of the 16th century. They provided prestigious defended houses permanently occupied by the wealthier and aristocratic members of society. As such, they were important centres of medieval life. The need for such secure buildings relates to the unsettled and frequently war-like conditions which prevailed in the Borders throughout much of the medieval period. Around 200 examples of tower houses have been identified of which less than half are of the free- standing or solitary tower type. All surviving solitary towers retaining significant medieval remains will normally be identified as nationally important.

Hazelslack Tower is preserved as a partially upstanding structure with a number of original surviving architectural features. In addition to its upstanding remains the monument will contain buried archaeological deposits relating to its construction, use and abandonment. The monument provides insight into the history of the border regions and the importance of fortified dwellings during the later medieval period.


See Details.


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 23 March 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes the remains of a pele tower of medieval date, situated on gently sloping ground with views of Milnthorpe Sands to the west and overlooked by higher ground to the east. The tower is preserved as a partial shell and stands to just over three storeys in height with a vaulted basement. The walls of the tower are nearly 1m thick and are constructed from limestone rubble with ashlar masonry. The tower retains a number of original architectural features including loop-lights on the ground floor and lighting the garderobes, small square-headed windows on the upper storeys and on the west side of the third storey is a window with two trefoiled lights in a square head. On the east side of the tower are marks indicating that the tower was once attached to a larger building and within the interior is a large fireplace with segmental arch and above it a second small fireplace with a segmental head. The return wall of the projecting part of the tower has a doorway with chamfered jambs and an associated drawbar hole. The interior of the building is divided into two parts by a cross wall and the south chamber has the base of an open stone staircase. The tower was constructed in the late 14th century and fell into disuse in the 17th century. The monument is a Listed Building Grade II.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
CU 328
Legacy System:


PastScape Monument No:- 41496


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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