A CENTURIES old tower in a rural South Cumbrian setting has been lovingly restored to its former glory.

The Pele Tower at Killington Hall was constructed in the 14th century and pre-dates the adjacent hall.

The hall was once owned by Sir James Pickering, the third speaker of the House of Commons in 1378, and it is rumoured to be connected to nearby All Saints Church by a secret tunnel.

However, in recent years the tower had fallen into disrepair, and when Ann and Andy Newbold moved into the castle in 2003, they vowed to restore the tower.

It had been reduced to little more than two walls with trees growing over them when they began their restoration work.

But they stuck at their painstaking task and breathed new life into the shell, respecting the building's historical aspects throughout the project by plastering with insulated lime and keeping to the line of the original walls.

And this week, the couple held an 'opening celebration' to mark the completion of the project, which is now available for holiday rental as a 'luxury two bedroomed holiday castle.'