Lanton Towers

Has been described as a Certain Pele Tower

There are masonry footings remains

NameLanton Towers
Alternative NamesLangeton; Langton; Lancton; Baxter Tower; Strother Tower; Tower of Ralph Reveley
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishEwart

The tower at Lanton, first mentioned in 1369, was destroyed in 1496 by James VI but later restored. By 1715 it was again in ruins (Bates 1891).

The remains consist of a 2.9m high mound of earth and stones, with traces of a rectangular building, abutting on the E. (F1 NKB 27-FEB-64).

It was one of two towers, (the other being built in 1415), one built by the Baxters, the other by the Strothers. After the 1496 destruction, one tower was repaired and the other left ruinous. The restored tower was ruinous in 1715. It is not possible to decide which of these towers is which (King 1983; Dodds 1999). (PastScape)

The Towers. — There seems to be little doubt that there were two towers in Lanton, one held by the lord of the manor, the other, and probably the earlier one, belonging to the Baxter portion of the township. The first we hear of any fortified place is in 1369, when Henry Lilburn assigned dower to the widow of David Baxter. The deceased had held the 'site of the manor' in which a 'fortellet' was built, and this reappears in 1402 when Robert Manners settled it in 1402, on his son John. In 1415 Henry Strother held 'the tower of Lanton,' and about 100 years later Richard Strother by indenture dated '20th June in the reign of Henry VIII.', leased to John Hall of Otterburn, the 'Castel of Langton with two nobles ther, Ewoolandis, now in the tenure of the said John, and Ivescrake, Milawnaye, withe waye to the mille and watter gaytte as it now rownith in the olde course,' for 190 years at a yearly rent of 4d. By his will dated July 31st, 1595, John Hall left his 'title in Langton bastle' to his son Thomas for life for a yearly payment of 12d., with remainder to his son William, and in 1631 among the late John Strother's property in Lanton there is enumerated 'a carucate of land called Bastile in holding of John Hall, gentleman.' The lease was surrendered by William Hall of Otterburn in 1656

The other tower is mentioned in a letter of 1522 from Lord Dacre to Wolsey, in which the intention is expressed of placing ten men in wages under Ralph Reveley in Lanton tower which belonged to Thomas Manners, Lord Roos. The two towers seem to be merged into one in 1541, when the earl of Rutland appears as joint owner with William Strother.'' It had been among those defences cast down by James IV. before the battle of Flodden, and had been described by Leland as 'a ruine of a towre,' but the greater part of the walls was still standing and the commissioners of 1541 estimated that it could be restored for 100 marks. In 1584, however, it was still 'decaied partly by warres and by want of reparacion of a long contynuance,' and its repair would now cost £100. As to ownership it had passed into the hands of John Collingwood, probably the owner of the Manners portion of the township. (Vickes 1922)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNT924311
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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 71-2
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 115 (slight)
  • Graham, Frank, 1993, Northumberian Castles Aln, Tweed and Till (Butler Publishing) p. 35
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 32
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 337
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 225-6
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle) p. 131
  • Vickers, Kenneth H. (ed), 1922, Northumberland County History (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) Vol. 11 p. 141-2 online copy
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, Border Holds of Northumberland (London and Newcastle: Andrew Reid) p. 17, 22, 35 (Also published as the whole of volume 14 (series 2) of Archaeologia Aeliana view online)


  • Chandler, John, 1993, John Leland's Itinerary: travels in Tudor England (Sutton Publishing) p. 344
  • Toulmin-Smith, Lucy (ed), 1910, The itinerary of John Leland in or about the years 1535-1543 (London: Bell and Sons) Vol. 5 p. 66 online copy


  • 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. 11 abridged transcription
  • Bates, C.J., 1891, 'Border Holds of Northumberland' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser2) Vol. 14 p. 17, 22, 35 online copy

Primary Sources

  • 1584, Report of the Commissioners on the Borders (1584) under Lord Hunsdon; largely the work of Christopher Dacre. Online transcription
  • 1541, View of the Castles, Towers, Barmekyns and Fortresses of the Frontier of the East and Middle Marches Survey of the East and Middle Marches
  • Brewer, J.S. (ed), 1867, Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII Vol. 3 p. 852 No. 1986 online copy
  • 1415, Nomina Castrorum et Fortaliciorum infra Comitatum Northumbrie online transcription