Tuesday, 5 July 2016

A Hidden Manor House and Medieval Tower, Broughton Tower | Life in the Past Series


Set back from the village of Broughton-in-Furness, hidden by trees, stands the interesting and suitably impressive Broughton Tower.




Currently private flats Broughton Tower started life as a 14th Century pele tower, much like those found in towns like Dalton-in-Furness. The tower, much like many others, was erected to defend against the ever growing possibility of Scottish attacks. Something that was a common threat at this time as the Scots were performing constant raids on England. In the picture above you can see the original pele tower, with its typical crenelated Medieval style, in the centre of the large complex of buildings.

Much like the castle at Dalton the tower was most likely used as a manorial court, a place where local disputes and wrong doings could be brought in front of the monorail lord and brought to a conclusion. The tower even as a dungeon which could be used to hold wrong doers before further punishment.

The tower was constructed by the Broughton family, Lords of the Manor of Broughton. They stayed in the town until 1487 when Sir Thomas Broughton was killed in the battle of Stoke. Thomas had allied himself with Lambert Simnel and fought against the Kings men for him. On his death his seat at Broughton was seized by the crown and given to the 1st Earl of Derby.

Some hundred and seventy years later the 7th Earl of Derby was executed for his allegiance to Charles II. It was then, in 1658, that the tower and the seat was passed to the Sawrey family. They kept ownership of the tower until the 1920s. The Sawreys, during the 18th Century, turned the tower into a manor house. A grand extension was added to the original 14th Century tower creating a much larger and impressive structure, the structure we can see today.




















The whole site was turned into flats in recent times, which are now in private ownership. This means that the historic site is off limits for any visitors but you can walk along a public footpath through a nearby field and be rewarded with great views of the structure, including the original 14th Century tower.

The manor house and original tower are a real piece of hidden heritage, tucked away out of sight behind the small town of Broughton, and is a real treat to stumble across!

17 comments:

  1. broughton tower was turned into a boarding school for delicate children opened in the early 1950s I think and was closed down as a school in the late 90s

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  2. It was indeed a boarding school. I spent a very happy time there in this beautiful building.

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  3. I remember as a child going there with my school and staying in an old cottage on the grounds.I got my first little pen knife in the village...Many happy days

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  4. lived her for 2 years from 1971.It was used as a boarding school for children with asthma.Many happy meories here shame its been turned into flats.Would love to go back and see it again.

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  5. I was there in late fifties and early sixties I was happy there except when I fell into moat left dangling on the barbed wire that covered it and still have the nasty scar to remind me,fond memories Janis.

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    1. I was there 1960-62... remember you Janis,,, as Janis Carter,, shared same dining table a few times...very happy days.Teachers mr Sharples miss Hill and Mrs Crawford...,,my name Bleddyn Williams..

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  6. Has anyone got any more information about this school in the 50s for children with asthma. My nanna went and has the best memories about it. Would like to know more.

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    1. Yes l was there in 1958 for 6 months
      Although being a sick kid with a chest complaint at the time .Broughton Tower was classed as a converlesant home .
      What was Nana name ? We had nursing staff looking after us and we we're schooled there by lots of nice teachers ,
      Beautiful grounds to have long walks everyday .played in a big sandpit watched one program on tv at 5pm think it was black beauty or champion the wonder horse .them at 6 pmwe had super which was hot milk and biscuits. Bed by 7pm
      Always up early woken by the Scottish Piper who walked up the drive playing the pipes .Yes good memories and made nice friends although a bit scary as a young child coming away from home l remember crying most of the first night l was there and the matron there was lovely and she let me play with her dog for comfort he was a little Scottish terrier. What was your nana name l did have a best friend there called Nancy Howard .

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  7. There in the mid 60s. Lovely memories. Nurse fits in particular looked after me. Making rugs. Etc. Colourful halcion days. Paul crompton

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  8. Thank you to everyone for your wonderful comments. It's lovely to hear about Broughton Tower as a boarding school - more history to add to this fascinating building! :)

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  9. Yes l was there in 1958 for six months chest complaint with many others we we're looked after by a nursing staff .the matron l remember had a scotish Terrier l also remember a scotish Piper walking up the drive most mornings playing the pipes .made a few nice friends there but sadly never kept in touch Nancy Howard was one of them Jenny Wren as we called her .also Norman and Paul .could anyone else share this time with me in Boughton Tower. Love to catch up june

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  10. The best thing is, I know the owners kid! I go to school with her and she’s my friend’s girlfriend!

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  11. I was born in 1954I developed asthma as a little girl and was SENTto Broughton Towers when I was just 5 .I stayed for quite a while then returned home to wigan for a short stay only to return to Broughton Toweers at the age of around 7-8 .my name then was Christine Peet (peetyweety) nurses Walker and Carrington were there then ..Such a happy secure place to enjoy my childhood .

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  12. I was there from 1967 to 1969 it was great, i remember the nursrs and one old nurse who lived in a cottage in the woods, i remember my first crush and loved every week when we danced, i remember going to see mother goose and peter green my friend, and many others the professor. Where has the time gone

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  13. Ive been back many times, there was a girl called evans, one lad broken his nose crossing over the path from tree to tree he fell, one young nurse came crying when her boyfriend left her she was great made us stuffed toys

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  14. HI - I WAS SENT TO BROUGHTON TOWERS WHEN I WAS ABOUT 6 OR 7 - I'M 72 NOW SO I DON'T REMEMBER TOO MUCH - MY HOME WAS IN WIGAN BACK THEN WHEN EVERY HOUSE WAS BURNING COAL FOR THEIR HEATING - THE POLLUTION WAS VERY BAD IN THOSE DAYS - I HAD BRONCHITIS AND THE DOCTOR RECOMENDED I GO TO BROUGHTON TOWERS TOO GET AWAY FROM THE POLLUTED AIR IN AND AROUNG WIGAN - IT WAS USED AS A CONVERLESENT HOME THEN - I DON'T REMEMBER ANY BAGPIPES BEING PLAYED - I REMEMBER WE HAD A VEGIE PATCH - THE DORM WAS A ROOM WITH SEVERAL BEDS - THERE MUST HVE BEEN SEVERAL OF THESE AS I REMEMBER THERE WERE QUITE A FEW OF US KIDS OF VARIOUS AGES - I REMBER THERE WAS A LONG DRIVEWAY LEADING UP TO THE [ CASTLE AS WE USED TO CALL IT ] I VAGUELY REMEMBER THAT ONE NIGHT I WAS WALKING DOWN THAT DRIVEWAY IN MY PAJAMAS AND WAS STOPPED BY A LADY WHO MUST HAVE BEEN A NURSE GOING ON DUTY AND SHE ASKED WHERE I WAS GOING AND I REPLIED '' I'M GOING HOME TO MY MUM '' IT WAS JUST AS WELL I GOT STOPPED AS GOD KNOWS WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED HAD I NOT BEEN STOPPED - I DO REMBER BEING OUTSIDE THE '' CASTLE'' AT DUSK HAVING THE GLASS OF MILK - I REMEMBER HAVING BREAKFAST IN A ROOM WITH A LONG TABLE - I ALSO REMEMBER AT NIGHT OR EARLY MORNING HEARING A STEAM TRAIN QUITE SOME DISTANCE AWAY AND I ALWAYS WONDERED WHERE IS THAT TRAIN GOING TO - OTHER THAN THAT I DON'T REMEMBER MUCH MORE -- REGARDS DEREK JONES

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  15. If anybody is interest i am admin on the Broughton Tower Facebook group,message me when you were there as we do not just want anybody joining,link is below,cheers :) https://www.facebook.com/groups/352618128403797/

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