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 John Lambert - Calton.

The beautiful Yorkshire village of Calton, 4 miles NW of Skipton, was the home of the Lamberts for many years and where John Lambert was born and raised at Calton Hall

I am most grateful to David Tippey of Kirkby for contributing these pictures and a history and description of the house.

More information on Calton, Kirkby Malham and neighbouring villages can be found on the Kirkby web site, an excellent local history resource

John Lambert's (Gen. John's grandfather) first possession in the parish of Kirkby Malhamdale was the manor of Airton which he purchased from Lord Dacre in 1530. Shortly afterwards he bought lands in the adjoining manor of Calton and in 1539 acquired the manor and manor-house (Calton Hall) from the executor of Geoffrey Malham. The Hall was evidently in a bad state of repair and it was made a condition of the bargain that the amount of necessary renovation should be assessed by ' four indifferent carpenters,' with a view, apparently, to an allowance in the purchase money. About this date, perhaps on the completion of the repairs, he appears to have made Calton his permanent residence since his subsequent deeds are dated from there. In 1540 he added to his possessions the extensive property in the parish of Kirkby Malhamdale which had belonged to the Priory of Bolton.

Morkill's History of Kirkby Malhamdale records this about the Hall:

During Lambert's (Gen. John's son) lifetime Calton Hall, described by Whitaker as ' then a very large old building,' was partly destroyed by fire, but was evidently restored in whole or in part, since for some years after his death it was occupied by his daughter and her husband. About the end of the eighteenth century, owing, it is said, to its ruinous condition, the greater part of the house was pulled down and the remainder (the western portion) converted into the present farmhouse. A bulge which appeared in the western wall of the latter some four years ago, was found to have been caused by the decay of the mullions of two large Tudor windows which had been left in situ at the time of the above conversion. The windows were on the ground and first floors respectively and the fact that smaller windows of a similar character are visible from the false-roof in the higher portion of the same wall suggests that this part of the house was anciently a tower and that the house itself was of the type of Nappa in Wensleydale or of Farmhill near Kildwick. Traces of mediaeval work are notably a stone fireplace on the first floor, a Gothic doorway in the eastern wall, and a fragment of Gothic tracery belonging, apparently, to a window. A draw well in the garden and the stone balls which cap the entrance gateposts are worthy of notice, also the ancient oak beams which span the doors of the large barn at the corner of the lane and which are obviously relics of the old hall. The stoop of a sundial in the garden bears the date 1688 and the initials IL.


The following description of the Hall is of particular interest.

House. Medieval origins, altered C18 and C19. Squared slobbered rubble, stone dressings, stone slate roof. Two storeys, 3 bays. Entrance in right-hand side of gable end has a chamfered surround and a pointed arch; C20 door. To the left is a 2-light flat-faced mullioned window with a plain surround on the upper floor and a similar window on the ground floor with the mullion now gone; both have C20 casements. Coping and shaped kneelers to the gable. Garden front contains C20 ground floor window on right. The remaining openings are C19: entrance between 2 bay windows of 2 storeys each. Traces of earlier openings (now blocked) are visible between the 2 bays. Stone ridge stacks at gable ends and centre. Rear contains a first floor C17 2-light chamfered mullioned window with a 2-light window with a flat-faced transom to its left and a ground floor single-light window with a square surround. A 2-storey extension to the right under a catslide roof contains a 2-light window with a flat-faced mullion on the ground floor and a similar but shorter window above with a single-light stair window with square surrounds, heightened and spanning 1 1/2 storeys to the left. Inside, the ground floor and upper floor each contain a fireplace with a chamfered surround and 4-centre arched lintel of 2 stone blocks. The former west gable end wall of the house extended to the central ridge stack which apparently contains traces of mullioned windows in the roof. The garden wall to the east contains an entrance flanked by ashlar gateposts each with a moulded cornice and a ball finial. The base of the right-hand gatepost is cut to take the first 2 steps of a 4-step mounting block on the exterior wall face.

Calton Hall was the home of John Lambert (1619-83), who fought for Parliament during the Civil War.

Source: T D Whitaker, History and Antiquities of Craven (Skipton, 1973) 2 vols.


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