Available in 48th scale only -
because otherwise it’s too big!
Arnside Tower was accidentally burnt in 1602 but was repaired and occupied until the 1680s.
Our model represents how such a tower may have appeared during the early seventeenth century.
This model is based partly upon Arnside Tower in Cumbria, a late 14th century fortified tower house.
Such defensive houses, known as pele towers, were common in the borderlands of England and Scotland from the 13th through to the 16th centuries. The lawless nature of the area meant that structures of this kind were necessary to defend families and their dependents from the violent cross-border raids of the reivers.
The model comprises an undercroft and three floors plus an attic guardroom.
Each of the three floors is divided into two main rooms and a small room in the projecting tower. There is also a garderobe in the rear left corner on each floor. Steps access the building at first floor level. The undercroft and the three floors are connected by a spiral staircase.
There are two fireplaces with working fires on each of the three floors and a fireplace in the attic guardroom. There are also working torch wall lights on every level.
The interior with the front removed and showing the central spiral staircase at the front of the pele tower.
The right side removed showing the larger ‘state’ rooms on the first and second floors. The undercroft is also visible with kitchen hearth on left and internal well.
Arnside Tower was the main inspiration for the model, although its roof no longer survives. The roof, therefore, is based upon Hollows or Gilnockie Tower just across the border in Scotland. In general, the Scottish pele towers are better preserved.
Hollows Tower today and in the 18th century.
Looking down upon the battlements of the pele tower with the roof to the guardroom removed.
Arnside Tower is built of limestone, which is the local stone in many parts of South Lakeland. However, it was decided to provide the model with the look of granite, a popular building material for other pele towers in the Lake District, such as Kentmere Hall.
The garderobes revealed at the back of the tower.
Many of Cumbria’s pele towers have become attached to other farm buildings over the centuries and now serve as barns or just picturesque ruins. Very few are still occupied. One of the most notable exceptions is Dacre Castle near Ullswater.
~ The term pele is thought to derive from the Latin palus, meaning
a stake, and harks back to the time when the earliest towers were surrounded by a wooden palisade ~
Arnside Tower looking north
An early 20th century postcard of Arnside Tower. Compare the ruins with the photograph at the bottom of this page taken in 2014 from closer in but a similar angle.