Sharperton Bastle, Harbottle

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are masonry footings remains

NameSharperton Bastle, Harbottle
Alternative NamesThe Bastile
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishHarbottle

Pele at Sharperton (Hadcock 1939).

Sharperton, in which is an old tower (Hodgson 1916).

NT 95800406 The only feature in the village of Sharperton that has any of the characteristics of a tower is at the northern and higher end of the village.

The remains are those of a derelict building, the northern part of which appears to be of considerable age. This older part measures 10.2m x 6.5m and has walls of clay bound rubble masonry 1m to 1.4m thick and rising to a maximum height of 3.5m. The quoins, some very large, are of roughly dressed blocks. At the base of the walls is a slightly projecting course forming a rough plinth. In the southern part of the building, which is evidently a later addition, there is a floor joist in situ at first floor level. The architectural features consist of two door openings, a splayed window, and a narrow slit opening.

The remains appear to be those of a defended house typical of others in Northumberland and dating from the late 16th/early 17th century. They are in poor condition with partly collapsed walls and mutilation caused by wind-sown saplings (F1 EG 27-MAY-1957).

The remains, apart from further slight decay, are as described. Lying among the fallen masonry is a fractured door lintel bearing the inscription 'G P E P 1615. Roger Potz' (F2 DS 18-JUN-1970).

NT 958040 Remains of bastle (Ramm, McDowell and Mercer 1970).

A bastle as described. The lintel referred to in report of 18/6/70 is situated 1.5m south-east of the doorway on the east side (F3 SA 09-DEC-1976).

Solitary form bastle, 10.2 x 6.9m, side walls 1.4m thick and end wall 1.1m thick. Byre entrance in long wall, first floor form - beamed ceiling. Present state - ruin (Ryder 1990).

In 1995 the bastle had been completely removed and the site lowered as foundations were being laid for an extension to Wayside Cottage. The ruined walls of the northern outbuilding still remained

The doorhead mentioned above is reset in the converted shelter shed which is part of Wayside Cottage. The main block of the cottage might conceivably have been a bastle or bastle-derivative house, although heavily remodelled (Ryder 1994-5)

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNT958040
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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 180
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 119 (slight)
  • Rowland, T.H., 1987 (reprint1994), Medieval Castles, Towers, Peles and Bastles of Northumberland (Sandhill Press) p. 41
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 360
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 313
  • Ramm, H.G., McDowall, R.W. and Mercer, E., 1970, Shielings and Bastles (London: HMSO) p. 86 No. 42
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 155
  • Dixon, D.D., 1903, Upper Coquetdale Northumberland: Its History, Traditions, Folk-lore and Scenery (Newcastle-upon Tyne: Robert Redpath) p. 260 online copy


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)
  • Hadcock, R.N., 1939, 'A map of mediaeval Northumberland and Durham' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser4) Vol. 16 p. 148-218 esp 173
  • 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


  • Ryder, P.F., 1990, Bastles and Towers in the Northumberland National Park (Report for Northumberland National Park Authority) p. 6
  • Ryder, P.F., 1994-5, Towers and Bastles in Northumberland Part 1 Alnwick District p. 28