The oldest part of the house is the Pele Tower, built in the time of the de Hoton family in c. 1350. It is one of many pele towers built in Cumberland by wealthy families, who were highly aware of the threat from the Scots to the north. The Pele Tower originally had a moat. The Gallery was added on in the time of Sir Henry Fletcher 1st Bart in the 1630s. Designed by Alexander Pogmire, the Gallery was built over an open arcade now known as the Cloisters Tearoom. Its columns are classical but strangely naive with a variety of decoration.
The East Front, a light, classical, almost rococo; this renaissance facade is a tour-de-force and was built in the time of Sir George Fletcher 2nd Bart in 1685. . The light coloured stonework and the delicate classical features contrast dramatically with the rest of the building. It was built by Edward Addison, almost certainly to the design of William Talman, architect of Lowther Castle, where Addison was clerk of works.
The well known Victorian architect Anthony Salvin was commissioned with George Webster of Kendal in the 1820s to undertake a major programme of restoration and change. He produced designs for the South East Tower which transformed Hutton into the building we see today, full of contrasts, mystery, surprise and excitement – a ‘Grand Design’ in effect, retaining the best of the old and adding some new elements. This imposing neo-gothic tower balances the Pele Tower with a number of romantic medieval flourishes that were Salvin’s trademark.
In 1886 the Gladstone Tower was commissioned by Lady Vane (Margaret Gladstone) who records that ‘it was my gift to the old house’.