Kirkby Stephen: Stobars Hall


Located in a commanding position over-looking Kirkby Stephen stands the castellated mansion Stobars Hall. With extensive views of the surrounding landscape, this delightful setting was chosen by James Brougham for his mansion in 1829. The mansion was built and designed by Mr William Close of Kirkby Stephen who is described as a joiner, cabinet maker and architect (History, Topography and Directory of Westmorland and Lonsdale North of the Sands in Lancashire, Edition: 1849).


The building features a late Georgian front with a Tuscan porch (above) and tripartite ground floor windows. The building is constructed of coursed rubble with incised jointing, moulded quoins and features an embattled parapet.


North Westmorland had few real gentry and some who were described as ‘gentlemen’ were also successful farmers or businessmen. The 1829 Directory describes thirty men in the area who were described as gentlemen or ‘Esq.’ with no occupation stated. James Brougham was one of these men.


Stobars Hall was later occupied by Captain Martin Irving JP, William Metcalfe in 1851 and by 1871, Matthew Thompson JP who was a local landowner and Deputy Lieutenant of the county.


The mainly two storey building is of a L shaped plan with embattled towers, chimneys concealed in merlons and 16 pane sash windows to each floor. Many original features still remain throughout the building including doors, cornices and ornately decorated fireplaces (above and below).


Finely decorated original cornice

A poem taken from The Book of the Chronicles; Or, Winter Evening Tales of Westmorland, Volume 1 adequately portrays the setting:

“Hail Stobars, hail! from thy high hill, We gaze and look, and wonder still: What a landscape greets our eyes, Spread beneath the lofty skies; Loveliest place of all the North, Art did much to bring thee forth; Brougham! thy honour’d Name shall be, Transmitted to posterity; In future ages will be sung- ‘The patron of the Poet Young.”


Hand painted wildlife scenes adorn interior doors

The reception rooms north of the entrance hall feature re-used 17th & 18th century panelling and some of the hand carved pieces of furniture are incredibly rich in detail. The wonderful cabinet below is inscribed with the initials WME and is dated 1713. The panels are exquisitely embellished with geometrical patterns and flowers.


The advantageous position of Stobars Hall includes views of Wild Boar Fell, Wharton Hall & Park and the Forest of Mallerstang.


Stobars Hall is Grade II Listed.


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