An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1936.

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'Arnside', in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936) pp. 14-15. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

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3 ARNSIDE (C.h.)

(O.S. 6 in. XLIV, S.W.)

Arnside is a parish at the head of Morecambe Bay 10 m. S.S.W. of Kendal. Arnside Tower is the principal monument.


(1). Arnside Tower (Plate 73), on the S.E. side of the parish, is a structure of local rubble and rough ashlar, formerly of four and five storeys, but now roofless, floorless and partially ruined. It was built as a large pele-tower probably in the 15th century. It was burnt in 1602, but was later repaired and occupied. It was finally dismantled in 1684–90. In 1884 the S.W. angle and most of the S. wall was blown down in a hurricane.

Arnside Tower

The ruin is a good example of the larger pele-towers of the district.

The tower was formerly divided by a cross-wall, mostly fallen, into two unequal parts, the N.W. part containing the principal rooms and of four storeys, and the other with the N. tower and garde-robe tower of five storeys. The entrance was in the middle of the N.E. face and had a pointed arch, but this is now fallen and only a gap remains. All the surviving windows and loops are square headed, but some of the windows are now represented only by gaps in the walling. The N. tower retains some part of its parapet, projecting slightly on rounded corbels; a similar parapet remains at a slightly higher level on the surviving part of the N.W. wall. Inside the building, rounded corbels for the support of the wall-plates remain in the N.W. and S.E. walls. The turret-staircase at the end of the cross-wall is still largely complete. The lowest room in the N.W. part, probably the kitchen, has a large fireplace in the N.E. wall; the arch has fallen, but there is a semi-circular niche in one end of the recess, a fire-window in the other and a large oven in the base of the N. tower. The room above perhaps served as the hall and has remains of a large fireplace; above it is a second room retaining a fireplace with a shouldered lintel. The top room also has a fireplace with a plain lintel. The S.E. part of the building has a fireplace in each of its four upper storeys; the two uppermost retain their lintels, but the others are ruined.

Preserved at the farm are two stone fragments, one with a bowl and drain and the other with carved masks.


(2). Hollins Farm, house, ½ m. W.S.W. of (1), is of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. It was built perhaps early in the 18th century and altered later. The S.E. chimney-stack has a cylindrical shaft and on the lintel of the doorway is the date 1771 (?). Inside the building are some exposed ceiling-beams and a panelled cupboard of two stages and of the local type; the top rail projects and has turned pendants.