9 BEETHAM (D.h.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)XLVI, N.W., (b)XLVI, N.E.,
Beetham is a parish on the S.E. of the Kent estuary
9 m. S. of Kendal. Beetham church is now in Haverbrack parish and the principal monuments are Beetham
Hall and Hazelslack Tower.
b(1). Hang Bridge over the river Beela 1 m. E.N.E.
of Beetham church, is a rubble structure of three spans
with segmental arches and cutwaters both up and down
stream. It dates perhaps from the 17th century, but
was repaired and reinforced in 1928, when the cutwaters were heightened to carry steel girders.
b(2). Beetham Hall, house and ruins, 700 yards
S.E. of Beetham church. It belonged to the family
of Beetham in the middle ages and passed to the
Stanleys late in the 15th century and from them to the
Cliffords and Wilsons. The old hall was built about
the middle of the 14th century, with a hall-block and
cross-wings at the E. and W. ends; an extensive
courtyard was enclosed by a defensive curtain-wall
of about the same age. The house is mentioned by
Leland and is said to have been taken by Fairfax in
1644, when the E. wing was destroyed. About
1684–90 the roof is said to have been removed to
repair Bank Hall near Liverpool. The existing house
was built by Thomas Brabin probably in 1653 and the
older buildings are either ruined or incorporated in
The remains form an interesting example of a semifortified house of the 14th century.
The Hall, now a barn, is of one storey and has a
modern doorway in the N. wall; further E. is an
original window of two trefoiled ogee lights in a square
head with a moulded label; at the W. end of the wall
is a projecting turret-staircase. The S. wall (Plate 78)
of the hall has two original windows, one similar to
that in the N. wall and the second of two ogee lights
with tracery in a high, segmental-pointed head with a
moulded label; at the E. end of the wall is an original
doorway with moulded jambs, two-centred arch and
label; it is now blocked. Internally the E. pair of
windows have shouldered lintels; the splays of the
S.W. window were carried down to within 5 or 6 ft.
of the floor; there are traces of a corresponding
window in the N. wall. The screens were at the E.
end and the solar was approached by the N.W. turret-staircase in connection with which there is a skew-arch across the N.W. angle of the hall. The former
E. wing is now reduced to the W. and part of the
N. wall; in the latter are remains of an original square-headed window with a moulded label. The S. part
of the W. wall contains remains of a wall-staircase and
of an original window in the S. return-wall adjoining.
The W. or Solar wing (Plate 79) was of three storeys,
but is now ruined. The N. end is covered by a barn
and from the S. end projects a small wing containing the
chapel on the first floor; this has an original window
of three trefoiled ogee lights in a square head with a
moulded label; in the floor above is a small window.
The return walls of the chapel-wing have each two
square-headed windows. The W. wall of the W. wing
has remains of a garde-robe projection at the S. end
and a chimney-stack further N. The first floor has
two two-light and square headed windows and the
second floor has two original windows similar to the
eastern pair in the hall. Inside the wing the chapelwindow has a shouldered lintel and is flanked by small
rectangular recesses; in the W. wall is an original
piscina with a trefoiled ogee head and a broken drain.
The fireplaces in the main W. wing have been stripped
of their dressings. The Curtain-wall (Plate 79) of the
courtyard is preserved at the N. end of the E. side and
on part of the W. side. The E. wall has a bend outwards
of about 12 ft. and runs N. for 36 ft. and S. for 85 ft.
from this point. The outer face has a slight batter and
is finished with a slightly projecting parapet on corbels;
the S. length is pierced by four loops, and on the inner
face are a series of vertical chaces probably for the feet
of struts to support a timber gallery behind the parapet.
A wall turns W. near the S. end of the curtain and may
have formed part of the former gate-house. Another
length of curtain, lacking its parapet, extends along the
S. side of the courtyard and about 30 ft. S. of the hall;
it forms part of an outbuilding and retains some loops;
the return at the E. end runs northward for about
55 ft. A third section extends from the Solar-wing
to the later house; it contains three loops.
The House, N.W. of the old building, is of two and
three storeys; the walls are of rubble and the roofs
are slate-covered. It was built in the second half of
the 17th century, the date 1653 or 1693 with the
initials T.B. appearing on the moulded lintel of the
former front doorway; the later doorway is covered
by a porch with ball-finials and a panel with the
initials T.M.B. The house retains some windows with
stone jambs and mullions. Inside the building are
some exposed ceiling-beams and a cupboard with
a panelled 17th-century door. The original staircase
(Plate 57) has heavy turned balusters and square
newels with ball-terminals.
Condition—Of house, good; of old building,
partly ruined and heavily ivy-grown.
a(3). Hazelslack Tower (Plate 77), nearly 1½ m.
W. of (2), was of four storeys; the walls are of rubble
with ashlar dressings. The pele-tower, though now
standing detached, was formerly part of a larger building which adjoined it on the E. It was built late in
the 14th century and probably fell into ruin in the 17th
The tower is faced with coursed rubble but retains
no remains of its former parapet. The windows
generally are either loop-lights on the ground-floor
and lighting the garde-robes or small square-headed
windows lighting the upper floors. The third storey
has, however, in the W. wall an original window of two
trefoiled lights in a square head. On the E. wall are
the marks of the gable of the adjoining building, now
destroyed; it was apparently of two storeys and on
the ground floor is a large fireplace (13 ft. wide) with
a segmental arch of rubble; the floor above has a small
fireplace with a segmental head. The return wall of
the projecting part of the tower has an original doorway
with chamfered jambs, two-centred arch and a draw-bar hole. Inside, the building is divided into two
unequal parts by a cross-wall. The N. room on the
ground floor had a barrel-vault, now fallen, and in the
E. wall is a fireplace with a segmental head. The S.
chamber has the base of an open stone staircase, which
becomes an enclosed circular staircase at a higher
level; in the S.W. angle are a series of garde-robes.
The upper storeys have a number of fireplaces, mostly
denuded of their dressings.
Hazelslack Tower - Beetham
Condition—Ruined and tops of walls damaged with
small bushes and vegetation.
b(4). Cappleside Hall, ruin ¾ m. N. of (2) is a
rubble structure forming the lower part of the S. wall
of a former tower. It belonged to the Middleton
family in the 16th century and was pulled down, except
for the tower, about 1687. It was used as a barn in
1763 and was reduced to its present state probably
in the 19th century. The tower was probably of late
mediæval date but retains no detail by which it can be
exactly dated. The existing wall formed the S. side
of the tower and retains parts of the return-walls to
the E. and W. At the S.W. angle is the base of a
garde-robe turret and there is a second projection at
the S.E. angle, perhaps for a fireplace.
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.
b(5). Cottage and barn, at Beetham House 230 yards
N.E. of the church. The Cottage was built c. 1600
and retains some original mullioned and transomed
windows. Inside the building is a muntin and plank
partition and an early 17th-century panelled door.
There is also an early 18th-century fireplace with a
corbelled head and cornice. The Barn, S.E. of the
cottage, is of the 17th century and of five bays.
b(6). Whasset Farm, house and outbuilding 1¼ m.
N.E. of the church. The House has a front block,
added late in the 17th century. It retains two original
stone windows and a late 17th-century mullion and
transom window in the N.E. wall. Inside the building
is a spice-cupboard with the initials and date T.A.
1710; the early 18th-century staircase has turned
balusters and square newels. There are also some
17th-century panelled doors. The Outbuilding, formerly
a cottage, N. of the house, was built c. 1600 and has
some original stone windows of two and three lights.
b(7). Whasset Gate, house, 30 yards N.W. of (6),
has later extensions on the N., E. and S. It contains
some original panelling.
b(8). Barn, on the W. side of the road opposite (7),
is of five bays with two ranges of loop-lights.
b(9). Hale Green, house, 770 yards E.S.E. of (2), has
later additions on the N. and E.
c(10). Cottage, on the N.E. side of the road at Hale
980 yards S.E. of (2), retains some original window-openings.
c(11). Keeper's Cottage, on the S.W. side of the road
150 yards N.W. of (10), has an original E. chimney-stack with a cylindrical shaft.
c(12). Fern Bank, house, on the N.E. side of the road
c(13). Cottage, 70 yards N.W. of (11), retains an
original cylindrical chimney-shaft.
c(14). Old Cottage, 40 yards N. of (13), retains a
similar chimney-shaft. A fireplace on the upper floor
has moulded jambs and a flat triangular head.
c(15). Parkside, house, 230 yards N.W. of (14),
retains one cylindrical chimney-shaft. Inside the
house is a semi-circular stone staircase and an early
18th-century fireplace with a corbelled head and cornice.
c(16). Cottage, on the E. side of the road at Slack
Head 650 yards W.S.W. of (2), was built late in the
17th or early in the 18th century.
a(17). Thorny Hill, house, on the N. side of the road
1¼ m. W.N.W. of the church, contains a three-stage
cupboard of the local type with carved upper panels
and the initials and date I. and M.A. 1677.
a(18). Shaw House, 220 yards S.S.W. of (17).
a(19). Greenhead Cottage, at the cross-roads ¼ m.
S.S.W. of (18), contains an early 18th-century fireplace
with a corbelled head and a small cupboard with the
initials G. and E.W.
a(20). Nun's House, ¼ m. S.W. of (19), has a semi-circular stone staircase and a small cupboard with a
panelled and enriched door.
b(21). Ashton House, 100 yards S. of Beetham church,
was re-built in the 18th century, but incorporates a
doorway with an enriched lintel bearing the initials
and date T. and S.I. 1678.