Blencowe Families’ Association Newsletter Vol. 23 No. 3 August 2008

Blencow Hall History & Update

An exceptional Grade 1 listed fortified manor that has undergone extensive renovation bringing the two embattled Peele towers back into use for the first time in more than 300 years. The discovery of Roman ruins, gold coins dating back to the reign of James I, artefacts, numerous others and reputedly, the oldest indoor toilets in Cumbria point to the historical interest of this property.

Blencowe Hall 1 Interesting treatment of Cromwell damage in a manner to retain the historic features of the south tower

Blencow Hall sits on a bluff above the small river Peterill and is encompassed by its own fields incorporating access to the river across the road from Blencow Hall. It has views to the nearby Lakeland Fells. Blencow Hall is a short walk to the small hamlet of Blencow which has a great local pub, the Crown Inn, and is just over a mile from the village of Greystoke which is dominated by Greystoke Castle and its 3000 acre estate. Greystoke has an outdoor, public heated village swimming pool, a local shop, a cycle café and a 6th Century Coaching Inn serving meals (the Boot & Shoe). Blencow Hall sits at the edge of the Lake District and is approximately 7 miles from Lake Ullswater and its quiet roads ensure the continued popularity of this section of the C2C cycle route.

Historical context: After distinguishing himself during Edward III’s invasions of France in the 1300s, Adam de Blencow was knighted, granted the right to use his own coat of arms and given control of all of the lands in Greystoke, Blencow and Newbiggin. Although Blencow Hall’s courtyard entrance is dated 1590 coinciding with the time of Henry de Blencow’s modifications, the archaeological evidence shows that Blencow Hall pre-dated this by some time and has a legacy as a fortified site before this date.

Blencowe Hall 3
Note the new brickwork in various areas including the turrets

Blencow Hall is thought to have been moated at one time and its chapel set to one side of the main courtyard is located next to a set of springs which historical accounts say were used for medieval baptisms. Today, these springs feed a series of small rills which flow around the property.

Some 60 years after Henry de Blencow’s extension into the Southern Peele Tower, local legend has it that Oliver Cromwell’s troops mistook Blencow Hall for Greystoke Castle and slighted it with cannon causing the three story rent in the South Tower. With the loss of its structural integrity, the South Tower developed a massive lean to the Southern exposure and was left open to the elements for successive generations. Victorian accounts record a plane tree growing up in the middle of the South Tower and the North Tower being semi-derelict - used in part for agricultural purposes. An advantage of this history is that the medieval features of Blencow Hall have been preserved through neglect rather than “remodelled by subsequent generations.

Blencowe Hall 2

The spiral stone staircases, enormous fireplaces and other unusual features including ancient garde robes have survived in their original condition and been carefully protected in this renovation which was undertaken with the supervision of English Heritage.

Thanks to Peter Blencowe and supplying the recent photos and for finding the article the rest of which can be found at

A question comes to mind: Was Adam de Blencow really knighted??

updated: 26 July 2016