20 CRACKENTHORPE (E.b.)
(O.S. 6 in. (a)IX, N.W. (b)IX, S.W.)
Crackenthorpe is a small parish adjoining that of
Appleby on the N.W. The Hall is the principal
monument, the Roman camp having been largely
obliterated by surface ploughing.
a(1). Camp, lying across the main road and the road
to Long Marton. Its N.E. side is parallel to and
about 50 yards S.E. of the Kirkby Thore—Brough
Roman road, which is at this point overlaid by the railway; a broad gully splits the camp into two unequal
parts. The camp is an irregular quadrilateral, of
about 22 acres in extent. In General Roy's time
(1769) it lay on a common and its state (Plate 93)
was comparable to that of Rey Cross Camp, which
it closely resembles. Since that time ploughing has
almost levelled the ramparts and filled in the ditch.
Their line is still distinguishable, however, in favourable conditions, except in the vicinity of the gully.
The rampart was of earth, the upcast of the ditch.
Roy shows nine entrances, of which six are now to
be seen; three in the N.E. side, two in the S.E. side
and one in the S.W. side; these entrances, which now
show merely as gaps in the line of the rampart, were
defended by external traverses or tutuli, now low
mounds of earth averaging 50 ft. in length with their
centres set about 60 ft. forward from the rampart.
The N.E. rampart is in the best condition and its
profile and that of the ditch may be clearly seen near
the Marton road. No traces are visible of the outworks
shown on the S. of the camp in Roy's plan. [Roy:
Military Antiquities of the Romans, pl. XVII, and p. 73;
C. and W. Trans. xi, 312; N.S. xxxiv, 58.]
b(2). Crackenthorpe Hall, near the River Eden
in the S. part of the parish, was until recent years the
residence of the Machell family. It is of three storeys;
the walls are of rubble cement-rendered and the roofs
are slate-covered. It is said to have been re-built
in 1629 and again altered in 1663, but its present form
is due to its refronting and reconditioning in 1685
by Hugh Machell assisted by his brother Thomas
Machell, the antiquary; at this time the attic storey
was no doubt added. About 1880 the large modern
building was added on the W. side.
The front of 1685 is of considerable interest and the
staircase of the same age is a noteworthy feature.
The N.W. front (Plate 70) of the old wing is
symmetrically designed with a projecting centre-piece
finished with rusticated quoins, modillioned cornice
and pediment; the doorway has a stone architrave,
rusticated frieze, cornice and pediment; the windows
each have jambs, mullion and transom of stone. The
flanking bays are similar but simpler, and there is a small
cornice carried along at the attic floor level and returned
round the N.E. end and back. The N.E. end has rusticated quoins and sash-windows with heavy glazingbars; at the first-floor level is a modern tablet of the
Machell arms flanked by two Roman altars (Plate 3),
probably from a neighbouring Roman station, perhaps
Kirkby Thore. The back has features similar to the
N.E. end. The central chimney-stack has grouped
diagonal flues. In the N.E. gable of the modern
additions is a re-set tablet with the date and initials 1663
L.M. (for Lancelot Machell). Inside the building, the
hall in the old block has a large fireplace-recess in the S.
wall, fitted with re-set 17th and 18th-century panelling;
above the recess is an early 17th-century overmantel
of re-set materials, with carved panels, six pilasters and
a carved frieze; the panels have geometrical designs
and a shield of the Machell arms; the pilasters have
fruit, masks and figures playing musical instruments
and the frieze has cherubs, birds, masks, etc. The
small staircase hall has a moulded ceiling-beam and a
plaster cornice; the late 17th-century staircase (Plate
56) has twisted balusters, heavy moulded handrails
and square newels with ball-terminals and pendants;
below it is some re-set early 17th-century panelling.
Two rooms on the first floor have late 17th or early
18th-century panelling with dado-rails and cornices;
there are also some 17th-century panelled doors.