Overlooking the Cumbrian fells, Moresby Hall has been home to many noble families since the 12th Century – it is the oldest residence in the Copeland borough (West Cumbria) and a Grade I listed building.
The name Moresby is likely to have derived from a connection with a settler (probably called Morisceby, Mawriceby or Moricebi) as early as 1150.
The Moresby family were notorious in the medieval times, and aquired large estates through conquest and marriage.
One of the most famous, Christopher de Moresby, fought at Agincourt and was honoured on the field with other knights by King Henry. Four generations of de Moresby later, Anne, Sir Christopher’s great grand-daughter was sole heiress. She married Sir Francis Weston, who was executed by King Henry VIII, along with Queen Anne Boleyn and another of her alleged paramours.
Anne finally sold Moresby Hall to a well-to-do merchant from Cockermouth – William Fletcher.
The Fletchers were also a powerful family and owned Moresby Hall for 250 years. William Fletcher was the son of Henry Fletcher, who entertained Mary, Queen of Scots prior to her imprisonment at Carlisle. The Fletchers arranged for the remodelling of the front facade of the Hall in around 1620.
First Broadcast: 14th October 2003