Moresby Hall


Moresby, Whitehaven, Cumbria CA28 6PJ 

Moresby Hall is on the other side of the road from the Church. It is very interesting architecturally. The facade is from 1690 or so and is very ornate and ‘rusticated’. But behind this early modern building is a heart dating from medieval times – another fortified pele tower.

When the Hall was being renovated for her to move in a new stone floor was put down and the old one taken up. Underneath the contractors found the remains of eight people. They were obviously old and the police passed the case onto the local archaeological unit who said they were of Roman date and probably came from a cemetery associated with the nearby Fort. 

Nikolaus Pevsner mentions the huge chimney breast inside the Hall, but when the hall was being renovated in early 1998, the chimney breast was opened up and inside was revealed the skeleton of a child.In 1715, the Fletchers, who owned the Hall, supported the Jacobites.

When the Old Pretender lost, the Hanoverian Authorities, took Fletcher to London and questioned him about his treason. However, Fletcher forgot to tell his servants at Moresby, that in the cellar underneath the Hall there was another Jacobite in hiding.

This is the traditional story at least, but Moresby Hall doesn’t have a cellar and the local version is that the poor man was locked in a chest and couldn’t get out. In due course he starved to death and his ghost still haunts the hall. There is a rumour that there is a tunnel under the road from the Hall to the Church so that the Fletchers wouldn’t get wet when they went to church. 

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