Rydal and Loughrigg

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

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'Rydal and Loughrigg', An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936), pp. 200-203. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/westm/pp200-203 [accessed 21 June 2024].

. "Rydal and Loughrigg", in An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936) 200-203. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/westm/pp200-203.

. "Rydal and Loughrigg", An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland, (London, 1936). 200-203. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/rchme/westm/pp200-203.

In this section


(O.S. 6 in. (a)XXVI, N.W., (b)XXVI, S.W.)

Rydal and Loughrigg is a parish adjoining that of Ambleside on the W. Rydal Hall is the principal monument and Rydal Mount is of interest as the former home of William Wordsworth.

Rydal Hall


a(1). Parish Church of St. Mary stands in the village. It is a modern building of 1824; but possesses the following ancient:—

Fitting—Plate: includes an early 17th-century cup (Plate 54) with a baluster-stem and a quartered-shield-of-arms of Fleming on the bowl.


b(2). Brathay Bridge (Plate 27), over the River Brathay 1¾ m. S. of the church, is a rubble structure of two spans. The arches are segmental, the wider northern arch spanning the stream itself. The E. part of the bridge is probably of the 17th century and has a later widening on the W. The pier has cutwaters and has been extended on the W. side. There are two modern widenings on opposite sides to ease the approaches to the bridge.


a(3). Rydal Old Hall, site on Old Hall Hill ½ m. S.E. of the church, is marked by the rubble foundations of the mediæval hall. These are too overgrown and fragmentary to indicate the form of the building, but there seems to have been a round turret at the S.E. angle.

a(4). Rydal Hall, house, outbuildings and bridge 200 yards N.E. of the church. The House is of three storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The old hall was abandoned and the new hall built probably in the 16th century by the Fleming family. Sir Daniel Fleming in his memoirs of c. 1681, states that the house was large and had been built at various periods; he himself made sundry alterations of no great importance. This house is now represented by the central portion of the N.E. wing and the W. range with the staircase-wing. The E. end of the N.E. wing is a late 17th-century addition and at the other end of the same wing is an addition of doubtful date. There are extensive modern additions including the whole of the S. range. The exterior of the house retains few of its earlier features. Towards the W. end of the S. front is part of a three-light 17th-century window, probably re-set and lighting the basement; in the E. wall of the staircase-wing is a 17th-century two-light window. Inside the building, most of the ceiling-beams have been cased. In the S. range is some re-set 17th-century heraldic glass consisting of three medallions with (a) the quartered arms of Fleming with the date 1617, (b) smaller shield of the same arms, (c) shield in a strapwork border with the same arms impaling Kirkby, for William Fleming (d. 1653) and Alice his wife.

The Summer House, E. of the hall and S. of Low Fall, is a small rectangular building of rubble, with a door in the S. and a window in the N. wall. An entry in Fleming's account-book states that it was begun in 1668. The interior is lined with 17th-century panelling of various dates; one panel has the date 1617. The Garage and stable, N.E. of the house, is a late 17th-century L-shaped building and the Barn further to the N.E. is, no doubt, the Corn Barn built according to the account-book c. 1670. It is a rubble structure, with two tiers of loops in the end-walls. The House, now a wood-shed, etc., W. of the barn is of the same period but has been partly re-built and heightened. The Bridge, over the Rydal Beck, E. of the Hall, is a 17th-century rubble structure, with a modern widening on the S. side. The single arch is of segmental form.


a(5). Rydal Mount, house and outbuilding 175 yards N. of the church. The House is of two storeys with attics; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. The E. block was built probably late in the 16th century. In the 17th century a W. wing was added and c. 1700 the cross-wing was built at the N. end of the original block. The block between the original house and the W. wing was probably that added by Michael Knott, c. 1734–60. William Wordsworth lived here from 1813 till his death in 1850. The house retains two 17th-century windows and a chimney-stack with a rounded shaft. Inside the building some of the ceiling-beams are exposed and there is a cupboard (Plate 35) with the initials and date E.A.K. 1710.

Condition—Good, much altered.

Monuments (6–34)

The following monuments, unless otherwise described are of the 17th century and of two storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs are slate-covered. Some of the buildings have exposed ceiling-beams.

Condition—Good or fairly good.

a(6). Hart Head, house 50 yards N. of (5), has two chimney-stacks with cylindrical shafts and one with a diagonal shaft. Inside the building is a muntin and plank partition of the local type.

a(7). Cottage, 150 yards N. of the church, has a chimney-stack with two cylindrical shafts.

a(8). Cottage, 100 yards N. of the church.

a(9). Under mount, house 30 yards N. of the church, has various modern additions. It contains a spicecupboard of c. 1700.

a(10). Glen Rothay, house 100 yards S.W. of the church, is of three storeys. It has large modern additions. Inside the building is a muntin and plank partition and three panelled cupboards. There is also some 17th-century panelling, one panel bearing the initials and date A.F. 1679.

a(11). Bank Foot, 100 yards S.E. of the church, was formerly an inn. There is an added barn on the E. and modern additions on the N.W. and S. Inside the building is an early 18th-century fireplace with a corbelled head and key-flutings on the lintel.

a(12). The Hermitage, house 200 yards S.E. of the church, has a small 16th-century wing on the S.W. The main block is of the 17th century with a modern addition on the N. The early wing has an original crutch-truss and there are two 17th-century windows in the later part of the house.

a(13). Cote How, house (Plate 24), 200 yards S.W. of the church, has a W. wing probably of early 16th-century date. The existing main block was added in the 17th century and there is a late 17th-century addition N. of the original wing. On the S. side of the original wing is a timber balcony and at the back of it the wall has original timber-framing, set herring-bone fashion. Against the N. wall is a stone oven with a pyramidal roof. The chimney-stacks of the main block have rounded shafts. Inside the building is some 17th-century panelling.

a(14). Stepping Stones, house on the W. bank of the Rothay, 700 yards S. of the church, has been much enlarged and re-built.

a(15). Loughrigg Holme, house 320 yards S.S.W. of (14), has modern additions on the N. and W. Inside the building is a panelled cupboard with the initials and date N.T.E. 1689.

a(16). Fox How Farm, house ¼ m. S.S.E. of (15).

a(17). Brow Head, house 520 yards S.E. of (16), contains a muntin and plank partition, a cupboard of the local type with the initials and date R.C.I. 1707 and a spice-cupboard with the same initials and the date 1714.

b(18). Cottage, by Miller Bridge House ¼ m. S.E. of (17), was built c. 1700 and contains a fireplace of that date.

b(19). Gatehouse, on the N.W. side of the road at Clappersgate, nearly 1¾ m. S. of the church, has a 16th-century central block and 17th-century and modern additions on the E., S. and W. It retains two 17th-century windows with solid frames. The original block retains a crutch-truss at the first-floor level.

b(20). The Cottage, house immediately S.W. of (19), has modern extensions on the E. and W.

b(21). Wayside, house 10 yards S. of (20), has modern additions on the N.

b(22). Crag Head, house 30 yards S.W. of (21), has been extensively altered.

b(23). Mill Brow, house and outbuilding 2 m. S.W. of the church. The House was extended to the N. and E. late in the 17th century. Inside the building is a panelled cupboard with the initials and date H.D. 1710 and a small cupboard with a panelled door. Cut on the floor-slabs of the kitchen is the inscription "Civil and Religious liberty all over the world—The liberty of the Press, if we have it not, Tis like the air we breathe, We die. Limited Monarchy for ever (By Longmire)"; it was probably cut at the time of the Wilkes agitation 1764.

The Bark-house, S. of the house, is a one-storeyed building, used for storing bark for tanning.

b(24). Tarn Foot, house 370 yards N. of (23), has late 17th-century additions at the E. and W. ends.

b(25). Crag Head, house 550 yards W.N.W. of (24), contains a panelled cupboard with the initials and date T.S.M. 1708. The W. wing has 'wrestler' slates.

b(26). Loughrigg Fold, house 110 yards N. of (25), contains a panelled cupboard with the initials and date I.B. 1691.

a(27). Loughrigg How, house over 1½ m. S.W. of the church, contains a panelled cupboard with the initials and date T.A.S. 1714.

a(28). House, 50 yards N.W. of (27), has an adjoining barn of three bays.

a(29). Oaks, house 380 yards W.N.W. of (28), contains some original panelled doors.

a(30). Scroggs, house 300 yards N. of (29).

a(31). High Close, house ¼ m. N.W. of (30), is modern except for the central part of the E. wing.

a(32). Barn, by Loughrigg Terrace 1 m. W. of the church, is a single-storey building, probably of the 16th century. It retains a central truss of crutch-type.


a(33). Howe Top, house 1,020 yards N.W. of (32), has an 18th-century addition in the angle between the wings. A barn forms an extension of the W. wing. There is a 17th-century outbuilding, E. of the house.

a(34). Nab Cottage, on the N. side of Rydal Water 1,040 yards W. of the church, was re-built in 1702. There are 18th-century and modern additions on the N. Over the porch is a panel with the initials and date I. and A.P. (for John and Anne Parke) 1702. The E. chimney-stack has an elliptical shaft. Inside the building are some original panelled doors and cupboards.

a(35). Dyke or fence on Nab Scar and partly forming the W. boundary of the parish. The fence appears to have been constructed pursuant of an agreement between the adjoining landowners in 1277. Of this fence traces can still be seen of that portion of it which passed over Nab Scar ridge in the shape of a ditch with traces of rampart along its eastern side. The line is shown by a wall which runs from Swanstone on Rydal Water, passes up the face of Nab Scar and ends about half way between the summit of the Scar and Lord's Crag. The greater part of this wall north of the Scar summit has fallen. From the end of the wall the traces of the ditch may be seen running in as straight a line as possible past Lord's Crag to the summit of Erne Crag; here it terminates on the point, where a later wall runs in an easterly direction down the slope of the ridge into the Rydal Valley. For the most part the ditch is very slight but in places it is deeper and the rampart can be plainly traced.

The S. portion of this length of fence was constructed by Sir Roger de Lancaster, the middle third by Wm. de Lyndesey and the northern part by Margaret de Ros C. and W. Trans. N.S. XXX, 1).



a(36). Terraced Mound, 120 yards N.N.W. of the church, consists of a mound of an average height of 9 ft. above the natural level, the top being rather more than half a circle on plan and flat. Two continuous terraces are formed round the mound except on the straight, or N., side where there is only one terrace. This side, however, may have been damaged to some extent by the making of a modern lawn, though there would appear to be no evidence that the mound ever formed a complete circle. A modern wall has been built along the scarp of the lowest terrace and this terrace as a consequence is now wider than the others. Beyond the lowest scarp is a later pathway forming a further terrace for part of the circuit.