Stone House, Stanhope

Has been described as a Questionable Pele Tower, and also as a Questionable Bastle

There are major building remains

NameStone House, Stanhope
Alternative Names
Historic CountryDurham
Modern AuthorityDurham
1974 AuthorityCounty Durham
Civil ParishStanhope

A stone house is mentioned in a terrier of 1608, but it appears to have been converted to cottages before the 17th century. In appearance it is a Medieval pele tower, with the small windows strongly fortified with iron bars in the upper storey, and C17 mullioned windows in the ground floor. The abode of the Medieval rectors of Stanhope (1957 NY93NE58 OS). Its general proportions and externally visible features align it with a group of fine, late 17th century houses centred on the Bollihope Valley (Ryder, 1994). (Durham SMR)

House and wing. Circa 1600. Thinly-rendered rubble sandstone and millstone grit with large irregular quoins and ashlar dressings; stone-flagged roof with stone gable copings. 2½ storeys, 4 bays and 2-storey, one-bay left wing. Ledged and boarded door at right in Tudor-arched surround with wide, broach- stopped chamfers; irregular-block jambs to door and to windows with wide- chamfered stone mullions and surrounds. Ground floor has two 3-light windows and one single; single lights above, irregularly-spaced and of varying sizes; 2 small windows at eaves have iron bars and rails. Left extension has C20 door and late C19 sashes under flat stone lintels. Ashlar-corniced left end chimney on main house; massive external stack on extension. Roll-moulded right gable coping. Rear 2-storey, one-bay catslide extension. Interior not inspected. (Listed Building Report)

Alleged to be a former rectory, perhaps a pele, but the walls are thin. (PastScape ref. King 1983)

Gatehouse Comments

The late date and rectangular form are not those of a pele tower in the more usual sense. The house may have originated as a fine quality bastle.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

This is a Grade 2 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY997392
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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles and Tower Houses of County Durham (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 57
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 139 (possible)
  • Egglestone, W.M., 1882, Stanhope and its Neighbourhood p. 86


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994, 'Bastles in Weardale' The Bonny Moor Hen: The Journal of The Weardale Field Study Society No. 7 p. 4
  • 1896, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (ser2) Vol. 7 p. 263 (brief)