Cappleside Hall medieval lordly residence 600m north east of Beetham House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021184

Date first listed: 24-Feb-2004


Ordnance survey map of Cappleside Hall medieval lordly residence 600m north east of Beetham House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: South Lakeland (District Authority)

Parish: Beetham

National Grid Reference: SD 50086 80243


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Medieval rural settlements in England were marked by great regional diversity in form, size and type, and the protection of their archaeological remains needs to take these differences into account. To do this, England has been divided into three broad Provinces on the basis of each area's distinctive mixture of nucleated and dispersed settlements. These can be further divided into sub-Provinces and local regions, possessing characteristics which have gradually evolved during the past 1500 years or more. This monument lies in the Lancashire Lowlands sub-Province of the Northern and Western Province, an area extending from the moorlands of the western Pennines to the coastal plain with its villages and hamlets. The southern part of the sub-Province supports high densities of dispersed settlements, but there are much lower densities further north, in the Craven Lowlands, the Ribble Valley and the areas around Morecambe Bay. In the Middle Ages the larger, lowland settlements were supported by `core' arable lands, communally cultivated, with enclosed fields around them. The uplands contained sheep and cattle farms and seasonally occupied `shieling' settlements.

Most villages included one or more high status residences typically owned by a Lord of the Manor. In the medieval period these prestigious residences generally included a great hall, private chambers, kitchens, stores and service rooms, frequently housed in a series of separate buildings or ranges, sometimes arranged around one or more courtyards. Lordly residences were also often the centre of the lord's home farm and would thus include one or more barns and other structures like granaries and buildings for livestock. They were often sited next to the parish church or included a chapel which in some places became a parish church at a later date. Sometimes the outer boundary of the complex of buildings making up the lordly residence was defined by a wall, bank or ditch. Those lordly residences defined by a substantial ditch are normally identified as moated sites. Fish ponds, dovecots and mill sites are also often associated with lordly residences, although often placed beyond the boundary of the main concentration of buildings. Lordly residences may survive as visible remains as well as below ground deposits. They were important foci of medieval rural life as typically the Lord of the Manor closely regulated local agricultural and village life. Towards the end of the medieval period, this form of lordly residence with its scatter of separate buildings was increasingly replaced by larger, more comfortable houses, often set apart from the core of the village itself.

Cappleside Hall is known to have been the fourth largest medieval hall in Cumberland and Westmorland. Despite being largely demolished the upstanding and buried remains of the hall survive reasonably well and will contain important archaeological information relating to the medieval and early post-medieval occupation of this class of monument.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes the upstanding and buried remains of Cappleside Hall medieval lordly residence located between Pool Darkin Lane and Paradise Lane on the sheltered eastern flank of Cappleside Hill 600m north east of Beetham House. It consists of a substantial masonry wall with surrounding associated earthworks.

It is not known when construction of Cappleside Hall began. The earliest documentary reference to Cappleside, then known as Capplesheved, dates to 1336 when it formed part of the manor of Beetham. In 1348 Richard, son of Henry de Capplesheved, was sergeant to Ralph de Beetham, lord of the manor of Beetham. This suggests that Cappleside may have been an important holding within Beetham by this time. The earliest reference to Cappleside as a manor occurs in 1523 when it was in possession of the Middleton family. During the 17th century the manor passed to the families of Buskills, Prestons and Cliffords. The earliest specific reference to the hall occurs in 1691 but it may already have been abandoned by that time as it had been allowed to become partially ruinous by the Clifford family. The hall was largely demolished during the 18th century but one wing survived and in 1763 this was converted into a barn by a local farmer. Five years later the barn, along with the rest of Cappleside manor was sold to the Dallam estate. By 1867 this barn had also fallen into ruin. The antiquarian William Hutton visited Cappleside Hall in the 1760s and described the building as a central hall with two projecting service wings, each of three storeys. Hutton's measurements of the building indicate that Cappleside was the fourth largest medieval hall in Cumberland and Westmorland.

The upstanding remains include a fragment of medieval fabric which was converted for agricultural use in the 18th century. It comprises part of the hall's three storey service wing measuring up to 1.5m high and 1m thick. Two projecting turrets on the south side of this fragment are interpreted as the remains of a garderobe chute and a fireplace. The remainder of the medieval hall survives as well-defined earthworks partly obscured by later earthworks relating to enclosures associated with the barn. All these earthworks are best seen on aerial photographs.

All modern walls, gateposts, fences, fenceposts, a corrugated iron shed and wooden posts holding what appear to be containers are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number: 35022

Legacy System: RSM


In Cumbria SMR 10902, Cumbria County Council, Cappleside Hall,
In Cumbria SMR 10902, Newman,R., A Note on Cappleside Hall, (2003)

End of official listing