Harrows Scar

Has been described as a Possible Bastle

There are no visible remains

NameHarrows Scar
Alternative NamesHarras; Harrowes; Harrow; Harolds Castle
Historic CountryCumberland
Modern AuthorityCumbria
1974 AuthorityCumbria
Civil ParishWaterhead

There is no evidence that the Wall was reused {in the C16}, but perhaps the Milecastles were. Although there is no direct evidence the Milecastles would have made convenient barmkins.

Supposed 'peel-house' site.

Gillesland: a brief historical note..., states in a footnote 'near a tumulus a little to the north-east of Birdoswald some masonry, which Mr Nicholson informs me is the remains of a structure, however, was nothing more than a border peel-house, called the Harras, probably the 'haracium' or stud farm of the Lord of Triermain, the land around being excellent for the rearing of 'nags' or little horses, with which all the borders riders were by tenure bound to provide themselves for their military service.'

1603 Survey reads 'William Twedell a tenement .. called Harrowes by the Pight Wall and a litle parcell of comon on the south and weste and the Clugh (Harrows Beck) on the north..' This seems to coincide with a 'Camp' marked on MacLaughlan and the 1829 OS map.

SMR record: E.Birley, places the Harras at Harrow's Scar Milecastle, probably based on TCWAAS Vol. 56, which describes the excavations there in 1953, when Richmond found a ruined farmstead inside. However Richmond described it as 'probably 18th century', and it is most likely to have been the 'cotage and yarde (of Henr Twedell)... by the said Wall north: buttinge easte upon Irdinge...' The site to the north needs excavation. (Perriam and Robinson 1998)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY620664
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  • Perriam, Denis and Robinson, John, 1998, The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 29) p. 133, 154 (plan)
  • Curwen, J.F., 1913, Castles and Fortified Towers of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 13) p. 422 (general suggestion of reuse of Roman milecastle sites in C16)
  • Anon {Mounsey, G.G.}, 1865, Gillesland: a brief historical and statistical notice of its locality and mineral waters (Carlisle: John Irving Lonsdale) p. 10 online transcription


  • Birley, E., 1959, 'Murray, Cumberland' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 59 p. 153-4 online copy
  • Richmond, I.A., 1956, 'Excavations at Milecastle 49 (Harrow's Scar), 1953' Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society Vol. 56 p. 18-27 online copy
  • Potter, H. Glasford, 1855, 'Amboglanna' Archaeologia Aeliana Vol. 4 p. 144 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Graham, T. H. B. (ed.). 1934, The barony of Gilsland. Lord William Howard's survey, taken in 1603 (Feild-Booke yt explaines all the Map Booke for Gilsland taken in 1603) (Kendal: CWAAS Extra Series 16)


  • MacLaughlan, H., 1857, Survey and Maps of the Roman Wall made by direction of his Grace the Duke of Northumberland, K.G.