British Listed Buildings

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Masons Arms, South Lakeland

Description: Masons Arms

Grade: II
Date Listed: 31 October 2013
Building ID: 1413908

OS Grid Reference: SD4131989490
OS Grid Coordinates: 341319, 489490
Latitude/Longitude: 54.2976, -2.9031

Locality: South Lakeland
Local Authority: South Lakeland District Council
County: Cumbria
Postcode: LA11 6NW

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Listing Text


Coaching Inn, enlarged and re-fronted in the later C18. Not included in the listing is most of the attached former stable range and pair of cottages to the rear.

Reason for Listing

The Mason’s Arms public house of mid-late C18 date is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Significant original fabric: the original form of this inn is clearly illustrated in the survival of almost all original wall fabric, pierced by original openings that retain original fenestration;

* Rarity: as a former coaching inn dating from before 1840, the building sits firmly in the period when there is a presumption that all buildings that are generally intact will be listed;

* Original plan: the original plan form remains largely intact with a separate firehouse and side room, two rooms to the rear and a rear stair to the upper floor;
* Interior fittings: sufficient of the historic interior survives including joinery, ground and first floor fireplaces, fixed bench seating and the original timber bar arrangement.


This coaching inn is considered to be at least C18 in origin. It was constructed within a zigzag on the old packhorse route from Kendal to the Furness area, which was upgraded to a Turnpike in 1763. At this time the inn was probably re-fronted and enlarged to the rear, and its overall character is consistent with a later C18 date. The building is depicted on the first edition 1:10560 Ordnance Survey map of 1851 as ‘Inn’, and on the 1:2500 map of 1890 it is described as ‘Mason’s Arms’.


PLAN: set in the angle of a prominent zigzag on the Turnpike Road; rectangular with a ground floor firehouse and side room, each entered through a separate door from the outside. Staircase to first floor situated at the rear.

MATERIALS: local rubble stone, mostly rendered with Westmorland slate roofs laid in diminishing courses.

EXTERIOR: the south elevation has three bays and two storeys with chimneys to each gable, and a third off-centre to the right end. There is an entrance at the left end into the firehouse and at the right end into the side room; both entrances have six-panelled doors set in stone surrounds with corbelled stone canopies. Each floor has three windows all retaining original unhorned six over six sash windows set in original moulded surrounds, with the exception of the centre ground floor which is a C20 replacement. The gabled right return has a pair of unhorned six over six sash windows to the first floor and a pair of frames with top vents to the ground floor. A Victorian red letter box is also set into the ground floor of the gable. A narrow gabled block attached to the right, also rendered is probably a later infill.

INTERIOR: the main room, or firehouse, retains a fireplace with a pot crane and flanking alcove. All joinery is original including the exposed ceiling beams which run from the front to the rear of the room, exposed joists for the first floor and wooden window and door lintels. Although the bar counter is not original, the bar occupies the original position; this is indicated by original joinery and there are two original serving areas supported on wooden beams with substantial lintels. To the right of the fireplace, a four-panelled door leads into the side room; this has a floorboard floor and exposed ceiling beam and joists. Around two sides of the room there is fixed seating with panelled backs of early character. A third room to the rear of the firehouse with exposed beams and rafters contains an inserted range and a simple closed well stair leading to the first floor. A plank and batten door leads into a corridor within the rear of the former stable block, and this has sections of original timber ceiling beams and at least one substantial timber lintel. A fourth room lying immediately behind the side room has been converted into a kitchen (not inspected). The first floor of the inn has been refurbished; a manager's apartment occupies the western half (not inspected). Four other rooms are now dining rooms, which retain some six-panel doors, floorboard floors and a pair of small fireplaces; one of these has a simple wooden surround, the other a metal grate. Some first floor door openings are inserted but the original layout remains.

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.