Bed & Breakfast in Cumbria

Kirkby Thore Hall Building


Kirkby Thore Hall is a grade 2* listed building. It is said to have been built out of stones from the ruins of Whelp Castle which was where the first lord of the Manor in Kirkby Thore lived. Whelp Castle itself was built from the remains of a Roman Fort in Kirkby Thore of which nothing now remains.

Kirkby Thore Hall in 1895


The Royal Commission Survey for Westmorland described Kirkby Thore Hall as an interesting example of a 14th century building with a range of later additions and alterations.  It includes a hall block and is constructed under steeply pitched slate roofs with stone-flagged eaves. The hall block was originally single-storey with a three bay front. A bay window of five leaded lights to the front and two to the return were added in the 16th century. The upper floor was added in the 17th century. The central 18th century doorway is set in the blocking of a 16th century mullioned window.


According to John Taylor in Manorial Halls of Westmorland 1892 the roof at Kirkby Thore hall is one of the best timber roofs of the 15th century remaining in this country at that time. The roof can be seen clearly in The Old Hall Room. The Old Hall Room has a gothic window and has the appearance of a chapel however in John Taylor's opinion it is more likely to have been the lord's chamber which may sometimes have been used as a chapel.

Old Hall roof beams
Initials of Thomas Wharton
A panel in the south gable of the solar wing bears the Wharton arms


Kirkby Thore

Kirkby Thore was originally the site of a Roman fort. There is very little evidence remaining of this although during the 1980s during an archaeological excavation of a Roman burial ground several important finds were made, Roman coins, tombstones, sandals, urns, earthen vessels, and the cusp of a spear were found in the locality. Three large artefacts found can be seen in the British Museum in London, including a tombstone thought to be of a soldier's daughter.

Henry Wharton

Kirkby Thore derives its name from The Old Norse "village with church" .

Lord of the Manor

The first Lord of the manor at Kirkby Thore was known as Whelp during the mid 13th century and is associated with Whelp castle. They held their lands in the manor under the Veteriponts and Cliffords until the mid 15th century.The lordship then passed to John Wharton who appears to have belonged to a younger branch of the Wharton Hall family. The Whartons continued here for 13 generations until the male line died out in the late 19th century.

 

Owners and tenants of KT Hall throughout history

In 1820 Kirkby Thore Hall was sold for £15,000 by John Wharton Esq to Thomas Barret Lennard of Regents Park, Middlesex and the banking firm Roper, Swan, Clough and Co.

On the death of Thomas Barrett Lennard in 1856 the Estate continued under the ownership of the Lennard family and tenancy of John Crosby until 1861 . In March of that year it was sold to the Earl of Lonsdale.

The major changes to the estate occurred under the tenancy of John and Thomas Nicholson who took the farm in 1861 for a fixed period of 19 years. A building programme began and the majority of the farm buildings were constructed. The work was facilitated by the recently constructed Eden Valley railway which allowed stone to be brought for the construction of the buildings.

The Lowther estate, owned by the Earl of Lonsdale, was transferring profits from industry and trade to the development of their own parks and residences and then to agricultural improvement, this was further encouraged by marked increases in land prices. By 1870 the tenancy of the hall farm changed to Messrs Graham.

During the early part of the 20th century the estate was broken up and Kirkby Thore Hall farm had been sold into private hands with no long residents until Christine’s parents bought Kirkby Thore Hall farm over 20 years ago.

Mrs Christine Tucker
Kirkby Thore Hall, Kirkby Thore, Cumbria, CA10 1XN
Email: stay@kirkbythorehall.co.uk :: Telephone: 017683 62989 :: Mobile: 07549 235008

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Kirkby Thore Hall