Kirklinton Hall

Kirklinton Hall is now just a ruined shell but it was not always so.

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Originally the hall was called “Clough Hall” a name echoed in nearby Cloughside, Clough Head and Longclough Side, these houses still remain today.  Part of Kirklinton Hall dates from about 1650 and the modern portion was rebuilt in 1875.

It is said that stones for updating the Hall came from the Castle, which stood between the Hall and Stubb Farm.  Kirklinton Hall is the chief seat in the parish of Kirklinton Middle, which extends from Bolton Fell on the east to Blackford on the south. 

The principal original landowners were George Graham Kirklinton Esq., Thomas Lawson Simpson Esq., the Rev. J.B.Norman and James Graham. The Township was long the residence of the Hetherington’s, an ancient border family.  

Title pic: The Hall today.  Left: Old Postcard of Hall.  Right: Mrs Hay

One George Hetherington was, in the reign of King Henry VIII, appointed to the post of King’s bailiff, to keep watch and ward in the Parish of Kirklinton.  

In 1898, after George Graham Kirklinton enlarged the Hall, he became the High Sheriff of Cumberland. He died in 1927 aged 74 and his wife Mary died in 1936. The estate was broken up when war broke out in 1939. During this time Kirklinton Hall went through “various vicissitudes,” including use by Rossel School and requistion by the R.A.F..

After the War the hall was purchased by Mr William & Mrs Doris Hay in 1948. Newly retired they began work on a few small alterations to make the place more comfortable, but the job, in William’s words, “got under his skin” and they decided to convert the house into 12 flats, all with their own separate entrances, kitchens and bathrooms. He worked 13 hours a day, every day for nearly four years, breaking through 5ft stone walls to increase the number of entrances from 3 to 12. He then made the stables and old coach house into nine garages.  The only part of the job he did not do himself was the electrical work. Architect and Clerk of Works for the project was Mrs Hay. She drew the plans and supervised the decorating and furnishings.

When complete and occupied, eleven food vans delivered meat and groceries for the 40 people who lived in the flats.  When Mr & Mrs Hay left in 1986 a consortium based in Malta bought the premises. They appointed Mr Ted Cain to run the Hall as a club with Dougie Snowdon as Floor Manager. Later Mr D Snowdon became manager of Kirklinton Hall Club.  After ending its days as a night club the property fell into disrepair and while it stood empty vandals wrecked this beautiful listed building. It has never been occupied again and is now just a ruin. However at a recent planning meeting in Carlisle permission was given for this listed building and outbuildings  to be restored and converted into 13 dwellings with a new block of five dwellings in the grounds.

Written by David Ramshaw

This is only a synopsis of the history of Kirklinton Hall.  More is to be found in the book Smithfield & Kirklinton Parish History, now out of print, but there are plans to publish it as a Kindle e-book in the future. www.p3publications.com

DAVID RAMSHAW

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