Cote Walls Tower, Biddlestone

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are no visible remains

NameCote Walls Tower, Biddlestone
Alternative NamesCoat Walls; Coteswall; Cotte walles
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishBiddlestone

Described in the Survey of 1541 as a little tower in good repair, belonging to Percival Selby. (Not listed in the Survey of 1415 pp 12 - 20) (Bates 1891).

Coteswall .... a vill of five house and in it the ruins of an old tower (Hodgson 1916)

The remains described by Hadcock (1939) as those of a mediaeval tower consist of three walls - evidently those of an old cottage. The walls are 0.6 metres thick and contain no architectural features that would associate them with a tower.

NT 97360747: The most likely site for a tower at Cotewalls would appear to be a grassy platform in pasture a little south of the present farm buildings, and on slightly higher ground. Visible among the roots of a tree in the south east corner of this platform are some large square stones: these appear to have formed the corner of a building, and at one point a rough plinth course is visible. In this vicinity too is a scatter of large stones, some of which are dressed. The field walls to the west of the farm buildings contain many large stones including some roughly dressed stones. These may have come from the tower. No significant field names appear to have survived (F1 DAD 02-MAY-57)

As described in report of 2 5 75 though the area NT 97380747 has been planted with conifers. Though it is a possibility that the tower was sited here, there is insufficient evidence to identify it (F2 ISS 01-FEB-77)

The tower was built by the Priory of Brinkburn at some time between 1415 and 1500. The 1541 survey of towers noted it to be in good repair. The tower was ruinous by 1715 (Dodds). (PastScape)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNT973074
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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 173
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 36
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 345
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 111
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 88
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 47 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)


  • Hadcock, R.N., 1939, 'A map of mediaeval Northumberland and Durham' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser4) Vol. 16 p. 148-218 esp 192
  • Hodgson, J.C., 1916, 'List of Ruined Towers, Chapels, etc., in Northumberland; compiled about 1715 by John Warburton, Somerset Herald, aided by John Horsley' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser3) Vol. 13 p. 4 abridged transcription
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 47 online copy

Primary Sources