The Heads Bastle, Corsenside

Has been described as a Possible Bastle

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameThe Heads Bastle, Corsenside
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishCorsenside

The Heads is a derelict farmhouse c.1.5km east of East Woodburn on the north bank of the Lisles Burn. The house appears from a distance as a two storey three bay early 19th century farmhouse of conventional type, with a low outbuilding to the east and a small extension to the west, as well as the usual rear outshut. Closer inspection shows that older masonry is incorporated in the ground floor walls; a set back marks a rebuilding line, above the lintels of the lower windows. This part of the house measures 11.8m by 6.54m externally, and is built of large roughly shaped blocks, with some massive quoins; there is a boulder plinth at the east end. The only original feature is the byre doorway set centrally in the west end (as at Harewalls NY 98 NW 13); only its southern jamb, of megalithic blocks, is exposed, to the south of a recent bathroom built inside an older outshut. The present front door has a chamfered surround and may be of early 18th century date. Built into the west end, in the upper part of the wall, is a part of a roll moulded sill or lintel, with holes for iron bars; at a similar level on the north is the head of a small chamfered window. There is also reported to be a Roman carving of Mars in the rear wall (not noted).

One rather unusual feature of the building is that, whilst the front and rear walls (at ground floor level) are over 1m thick, the rear wall (although apparently retaining old masonry) is only 0.6m thick (Ryder 1994-5). (Northumberland HER)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY921867
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Phillips, E.J., 1977, Corpus Signorum Imperii romani. Corpus of Sculpture of the Roman World, Great Britain Vol. 1 fasc 1 (Oxford), 67 no. 210


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)


  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 4 Tynedale District Vol. 1 p. 62-3
  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, Northumberland Bastles Survey Unpublished p. 4