Culloden Tower

Richmond, North Yorkshire


The two bright octagonal rooms at the top of the four storey tower are flooded with daylight and contain a rich mix of Gothic and Classical carving and plasterwork. This is a romantic Landmark on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. 

  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • ShowerShower

Beds 1 Twin, 1 Double

4 nights from
£728 equivalent to £45.50 per person, per night

Monument to the Battle of Culloden

Built in around 1746, it is thought that Culloden Tower was designed by architect Daniel Garrett. Whist it is difficult to pin down the exact date, its purpose is far clearer. Originally called the Cumberland Temple, it was built by John Yorke as a monument to the victory of the Duke of Cumberland's army over Bonnie Prince Charlie near Inverness in April 1746. Fast forward a couple of centuries to 1981 and Culloden Tower was in a neglected state; the leaking roof had caused dry rot in the timbers, the interior had been vandalised and the bottom part of the tower had become a cattle shed and hay loft. We renewed the roof in lead, repaired and repointed stonework and restored the interior to respect the original design. The most important part of the restoration was in the two upper rooms. Fortunately enough of the original ceilings had survived which meant we could take castings and recreate the whole design.

A stone's throw away from the Swale

The Culloden Tower is built over four floors with steep stairs and 66 steps that take you to a wonderfully grand bedroom ceiling. The carving and plasterwork is reminiscent of Gothic style in the lower section whilst the upper parts are distinctly Classical. With its situation on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, its proximity to the beautiful market town of Richmond and the River Swale within sight and earshot it is difficult to find a more stunning or romantic location. Richmond and its 18th century theatre are a few hundred yards away whilst the highest pub in England can be found a little further afield at Tan Hill.

Floor Plan


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Map & local info

Culloden Tower looks out over the surrounding park, woodlands and also the town of Richmond, gateway to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. There are plenty of walks around this area of North Yorkshire to enable you to appreciate its wealth of picturesque villages and spectacular landscapes. Discover the breathtaking waterfalls around the village of Keld and the Aysgarth Falls near Leyburn.  

The historic market town of Richmond, with its castle, theatre, museum, impressive monuments and fine Georgian architecture, has lots to offer visitors. 

Just over an hour's drive from here is the wonderful city of York, where you can wander through the The Shambles to admire the impressive Minster. Visit the Castle Museum, the Jorvik Viking Centre and the National Railway Museum, just some of the many attractions in the city to keep everyone entertained.

Close by is the Richmondshire Museum (0.4 miles) and the Green Howards Museum (0.3 miles). You can gain free entry with a National Art Pass, which enables its members to enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions. The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it here on the National Art Pass website. 

For more information on things to do during your stay at Culloden Tower, please see our Pinterest page.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Clear directions
Essential info
What you need to know about this building
  • No.
  • Via a short track from the main road.
  • Darlington – 9 miles.
  • There are two parking spaces approximately 20m from the Landmark.
  • There are Rointe electric panel heaters and a stove.
  • Unfortunately, there is currently no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of logs or coal, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • To check up-to-date mobile network coverage in the area, visit* Due to the location and structure of many of our buildings, signal strength may differ to those indicated.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker and a microwave.
  • There is one bathroom with a free-standing shower unit.
  • Yes, the stairs are steep, spiral and narrow.
  • There is a small fenced garden.
  • Yes, this property is hard to heat in winter.
  • Yes,  but we would ask that care is taken in inclement weather and that children and dogs are supervised when on the roof.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
Booking and Payment
  • If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • The key arrangements will be included in the Further Infomation document which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • If your stay starts more than two months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy and The Bunk House at Llwyn Celyn must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • Our housekeeper will leave the key in a suitable place, the details of which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
Staying at a Landmark
  • Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.  Further information on access when visiting Lundy can also be found here.
  • Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if a registered assistance dog is supporting one of the guests, for which there is no charge.
  • Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visiting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).
  • Landmark’s electrical systems have not been designed to provide continuous power from one socket over several hours.  If an ordinary socket is used to charge an electric vehicle, there is significant risk of an electrical fire and consequent danger to life.  Therefore, we are unable to allow electric vehicle charging from most of our Landmarks at present.

    We are working to provide Type 2 Electric Vehicle charge points at our properties where there is private parking.  Where this is available, please request this facility when booking the property to ensure the outlet is enabled on your arrival.  There is a small charge to cover the cost of electricity provided.  Please book this facility in advance.
  • No, we do not allow smoking in any Landmark.
  • Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival. Except for the Llwyn Celyn Bunkhouse.
  • Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
  • A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. Hairdryers are provided.

Originally called Cumberland Temple


The Culloden Tower was built in 1746 or soon afterwards. The architect is thought to have been Daniel Garrett, and his patron was one of Richmond's two Whig MPs, John Yorke. It was originally called the Cumberland Temple and its purpose was clear; to mark the victory of the Duke of Cumberland's army over Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the Jacobite Young Pretender, at Culloden, near Inverness, in April that year.


A great deal hung on the outcome of that battle. The Hanoverian kings had been on the throne for just over thirty years. The first, a German, George I had been succeeded by the more English George II. His family were now regarded as fully representative of the Protestant Whig supremacy that under Sir Robert Walpole had made England a prosperous and stable place. The only cloud on the horizon was the possibility of a new Jacobite rising, carrying with it fears that had lain dormant since James II was deposed in 1688; the fear of a Catholic king who would threaten his subjects' freedom of religious worship and, it was somehow felt, deprive them of their ability to profit by trade as well.

The battle was fiercely fought and the victorious Duke became known as Butcher Cumberland for his order to kill the wounded Jacobite soldiers in its aftermath, but the Jacobite cause was now a spent force, no longer supported even by the traditionally loyal Tories. The Whig Augustan world could continue unchallenged, trade could increase, the New World triumph over the Old, the Classical over the Gothic, a point that was made in the interior decoration and arrangement of the Culloden Tower itself. Here, Gothic motifs are found in the tall main room, but set within an orderly Classical framework and the scheme in the topmost room is entirely Classical.

The Tower replaced an earlier one, and the design of its exterior reminds us of this. A pele tower, called Hudswell's Tower, stood here from the 14th century until the 17th century. Its ruin may still have been visible when the Culloden Tower was built, to be commemorated in the square base of its very different successor.

The Culloden Tower was built by John Yorke. He held the family seat in Parliament until his death, in 1757. He was a Whig, but an independent one, who was known to vote against the Government at times. Lord Egmont described him as "a whimsical fellow but in the main will be with Government". He was most certainly "with" the Hanoverians, and the prosperity which they brought to his town.

Apart from showing off the builder's political affiliations, the Culloden Tower was of course intended as an ornament, crowning the hill opposite the town and acting as a foil to the castle's greater tower. It stood in the park of a large mansion called Yorke House after the family that lived there. This stood close to the river at the foot of the hill with its gardens around it. A fine view of these, and of the town and surrounding countryside, would have been enjoyed by anyone in the Tower. With its comfortable and elegant rooms, each provided with a fireplace, the Tower would also have been a place where the Yorke family could enjoy some privacy, away from their large household.

The presumed architect of the tower, Daniell Garrett, began his career as a follower of the Earl of Burlington, the great champion of the Palladian style of architecture. He went on to develop his own practice in the North-East, designing some rather dull Palladian houses which tend to confirm the judgement of the Architect-Earl, that he was more a man of business than of aesthetics. Garrett also had an extraordinary talent for the design of Rococo plasterwork and, as an extension of this, for the Rococo-Gothick in all its forms. His career in this field reached its highest point of fantasy in the Banqueting House at Gibside, Co. Durham, a building for which there is no equal anywhere. It, too, has been restored by the Landmark Trust.

Yorke House was demolished in 1823, after which the park, and the Culloden Tower, became attached to Temple View, a house some distance to the North. This had started life as a Gothic Menagerie, built by the last John Yorke in 1769. The tower was used less and less, especially in this century, when such buildings have become increasingly difficult to maintain. Although it is widely visible, it is also curiously isolated, which has led to more problems. Thieves stole the lead from the roof, and the asphalt that replaced it leaked and caused dry rot. More recently, vandals did appalling and systematic damage so that little of its interior remained intact. It was in the nick of time that the Landmark Trust came to its rescue in 1981.

For a short history of Culloden Tower please click here.

To read the full history album for Culloden Tower please click here.

To download the children's Explorer pack for Culloden Tower please click here.


The base of the tower was a cattle shed

In 1981 the Culloden Tower was in a sad state of decay. The roof had leaked, causing dry rot in the roof timbers. This, in turn, had led to half the ceiling in the top room falling in, whose interior had been thoroughly vandalised. The base of the tower was used as a cattle shed and hay loft.

The roof was renewed in lead. New pinnacles were made for the parapet, which also needed some repair. Stonework was repaired and the whole building repointed. Finally, a new weather vane was made, a copy of the original one which could be seen in a postcard of about 1900.

Some rearrangement was needed inside, but it was done in such a way as to respect the original design. The empty square base of the tower became a kitchen, with enough space for a bathroom and second bedroom below. A new window was made to give extra light to the kitchen, and the existing windows were given new stone surrounds. The floors and partitions on the two lowest floors are all new, of course.

The stair needed a lot of repair, but by far the most important work inside the tower was the restoration of the two richly decorated upper rooms. As much as possible of the original work was saved by careful repair. Luckily, enough of the top room ceiling survived for castings to be taken from it to recreate the whole design in new plaster. Pieces of the chimneypieces had been saved and were used to reconstruct the design.

Luckily the doors and shutters needed only minor repair to put them into working order, thanks in part to the lead paint with which they had always been painted. When repainting, therefore, the same white lead paint has been used. Traditional paints have also been used on the walls, in colours known to have been used in the 18th century.

The final task was to improve the access; great care was taken to make the drive and parking place as unobtrusive as possible, so that the setting of the tower would not be changed. The gates on the road were also repaired.

Availability & booking

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A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.