Clifton Hall
Clifton Hall
Clifton Hall is a 15th century pele tower, or fortified house, located in a small village south of Penrith. The pele is the only remaining part of a much larger manor owned by the Wybergh family. The tower was ransacked by Jacobite soldiers on the eve of the Battle of Clifton Moor in 1745, the last battle fought on British soil.
Excavations have revealed that there was a hall and cross wing here as early as the late 14th century, possibly built by Elainor Engaine or her son William Wyberg. That early structure was replaced by the current tower in the late 15th or early 16th century. The house was extended several times in the 17th and 18th centuries, but the hall was destroyed in the early 19th century, leaving only the pele tower standing.

The tower stands three stories high. It is crenellated all around, and there is a turret in the southwest corner. The interior floors have been largely removed, allowing visitors to see the 'bones' of the building, including a wonderful timber ceiling and rafter system. There are several fireplaces remaining, and the overall layout of the rooms is easy to make out. In all, Clifton Hall provides a good glimpse into life in a medieval fortified house.

The tower is open at any reasonable time. It is located within Clifton Hall Farm, a 19th century farmhouse which incorporates an inscribed Roman memorial slab into one wall.