West Fleetham Tower

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameWest Fleetham Tower
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishBeadnell

West Fleetham Farmhouse GV II House, probably originally a bastle house. C16 or early C17, extended C18, altered 1810-20. Random rubble with ashlar chimneys and ashlar repairs to rear wing. Welsh slate roof. L-plan with C18 and early C19 additions on right return forming U-plan. Single-storey lean-to links rear ranges. Facade: 2 storeys, 4 bays; the left 2 bays are the older section with much thicker walls. C20 door and porch in 3rd bay. 12-pane sashes with projecting sills. Gabled roof with flat coping. Renewed brick end stacks; corniced ridge stack with acroteria; similar stack on gable of rear wing. Interior: Internal cross wall to right of second bay c.54 inches thick; Formerly external rear wall of this section also c.50 inches thick; former ground-floor doorway of this section, now a cupboard, has Tudor-arched lintel. Front wall of older part c.40 inches thick. Late C18 addition has thinner walls, staircase with stick balusters, 6-panel doors and shutters. The old section, remodelled c.1810 has 6-panel doors with fluted surrounds and paterae; shutters also have fluted surrounds. Short one-bay rear wing also has walls on ground floor c.40 inches thick. The ridge stack serves only one first-floor fireplace. (Listed Building Report)

This is the site of an old bastle, a fortified house built as a defence against raiders from Scotland. Many traces of the bastle can be seen built into the current L-shaped farmhouse. The ground floor probably originally had two rooms, which may have been used for storing food or even sheltering animals. Raiding in this area was most common in the later medieval and early post-medieval period (14th-16th centuries) which was probably when this building was first built. It has, however, clearly been much altered in the 18th and 19th centuries

(Keys to the Past)

There is an old Pele tower at Fleetham (Tomlinson 1888).

The remains of an old peel of which only three walls are preserved, incorporated in part of a dwelling house (Revision ONB 15).

The portions of the farmhouse which are the supposed remains of the peel consist of stone walls similar in style and construction to the rest of the building; it does not contain any architectural features and there is no evidence that it has at one time formed part of a peel tower. The only known literary reference is Tomlinson (F1 JHO 29-MAR-55). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

No question of these ever being a 'pele tower'. A pele-house 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 ReferenceNU195283
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 131
  • Tomlinson, W.W., 1888, Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 450