Low Old Shield Farmhouse, Greenhead

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are major building remains

NameLow Old Shield Farmhouse, Greenhead
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishGreenhead

Bastle house now a farmhouse. Late C16-early C17 with c.1700 openings on front; C19 outshut on rear. Coursed rubble; Welsh slate roof; stone and brick chimneys. Original entry in left gable end. 2 storeys, 2 bays. Huge boulder plinth on front and returns. Late C19 gabled stone porch with replaced door to left of centre. Moulded Tudor-arched doorway with run-out stops on front wall inside porch. 6-pane sash in C19 openings at ground-floor right. Replaced casements elsewhere in fragmentary double-chamfered surrounds. Window on first-floor right retains a chamfered stone mullion; possibly re-used Roman wall masonry to right of this window. Roof has coped right gable. Left end stone stack with top ledge; rebuilt brick right end stack. Blocked original doorway with alternating jambs on gabled left return. Single-storey added rear outshut with pent roof. Interior: 1.25-metre thick walls; both ground-floor rooms have adzed ceiling beams of heavy scantling; chimney flue inserted in front of original gable-end entry. Farmbuilding on right return is not of special interest. (Listed Building Report 1987)

Rectangular building, 6.7m x 10.3m, with walls 1.25m thick, of roughly coursed rubble including many reused Roman stones. 18th century out shut to rear (north). Boulder plinth. West end has central square-headed byre entrance door, now blocked, with roll-moulded surround and traces of blocked slit window above. South wall has later 17th century moulded Tudor arched doorway inside later porch; directly above porch is stone spout for slop stone. To west of porch former two-light mullioned window with sill lowered; similar window above, both having lost their mullions. East of porch is a 19th century window with three-light mullioned window above (one mullion removed). East end re-faced or rebuilt. Interior: ground floor rooms have heavy transverse beams (Ryder, P F 16-JUL-90 Field Investigation).

Bastle now converted into a farmhouse

Beside tributary of Tipalt Burn 1km north of Roman Wall. The blocked, square-headed byre entrance with a roll-moulded surround is a common form in north Tynedale but less so in the valleys of the South Tyne and its tributaries. Bastle was remodelled in late 17th century into a more conventional two-storey house - the south wall may have been refaced at this time. There are heavy closely-set transverse beams inside the house over both ground floor rooms, these may be original (Ryder 1990). (Northumberland HER)

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 ReferenceNY668668
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Calculate Print


  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 372


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


  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, Bastles and Towers in the Northumberland National Park (Report for Northumberland National Park Authority) p. 19