Craig Farm, Hepple

Has been described as a Certain Bastle

There are major building remains

NameCraig Farm, Hepple
Alternative NamesThe Crag; The Crage
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishHepple

Bastlehouse. C16 or early C17. Random rubble. Ground floor complete. West wall stands to full gable height, the other walls slightly lower. Original ground-floor doorway in west gable end; renewed (1985) segmental lintel; rounded arrises to jambs.

Interior: tunnel vaulted. Very narrow mural stair in south-west corner. (Listed Building Report)

The bastle at Craig Farm survives in an excellent state of preservation to almost its original height. It is one of a group of bastles in the vicinity which will contribute to our understanding of medieval settlement in the Border areas.

The monument includes a well preserved defended farmhouse, or bastle, situated among farm buildings adjoining the north-east corner of the present farmhouse. The bastle, constructed of roughly squared stone and surviving two storeys high, is rectangular in plan, measuring 9.2m by 4.4m within stone walls 1.4m thick. The basement, or byre, has a fine barrel vault and an original entrance at the centre of the west gable; a second entrance in the south wall is a relatively recent addition, as is the now blocked doorway on the north side. A splayed slit window placed centrally in the east gable is now blocked by adjoining farm buildings; on the same wall to the north of this window there is a wall cupboard and traces of the socket holes which supported a wooden loft. In the south-west corner a staircase leads up through the thickness of the wall to the first floor living area. Here, a window and two wall cupboards occupy the west end and a doorway, now blocked, is visible in the east end. Other breaks in the walls at this level may indicate the position of other windows. The bastle is complete to within 1m of its original height, although the roof does not survive. (Scheduling Report)

Remains of a Peel situated in a very commanding position, upon an elevated place, against a general slope of moorland pasture facing south east

The site, at approx 800 feet above sea-level, commands open moorland rising to the north west and north east, and overlooks the valley head and valley of the Keenshaw Burn, to the south west and south-east respectively. The Peel, orientated north east and south west, measures overall, 12.4m by 7.2m. The walls, 1.4.m thick at ground level, are constructed of rough fashioned stones, with large well shaped corner quoins. They stand to an average height of 40m, the upper storey being roofless and in a ruinous condition. The basement is barrel vaulted, the roof springing 1.2m above ground level to a max height of 2.7m. In the south west end is the original entrance, equipped with bar-holes. A modern entrance has been cut through the south east side. No apertures, windows or arrow slits, remain elsewhere, except one arrow slit above the original entrance. There are no traces to be seen of the original access to the upper storey (F1 ASP 29-MAY-1957).

Ruined rectangular building 12m x 7.2m. Walls of coursed roughly-squared blocks with some galleting, 1.4m thick; large roughly-cut quoins. Except for part of south wall most of the building stands to within 1.5m of the wall head. Central byre entrance in west gable has rounded jambs; formerly flat lintel recently re-cut to a rough segmental arch. Small rectangular opening immediately above lintel. Single door check; twin drawbar tunnels in north jamb. Recent doorway cut through south wall; earlier inserted doorway, now blocked, on north. Splayed slit, now blocked, in centre east end. Basement has semicircular barrel vault; wall cupboard at east end, and sockets for loft beams. At west end south of door opening 1.4m above floor into narrow mural stair. At first floor level splayed loop and two wall cupboards in west end, blocked doorway to east. Remains of cross wall and ?entrance lobby on south. The tenant has carried out damaging 'improvements' to the bastle. Conserved c.1985 (F3 PFR 26-JUL-1990).

16th or early 17th century bastle house, built of random rubble. The farm, which is beautifully sited, incorporates a well-preserved bastle house. The ground floor is complete except where a doorway has been opened in the long south wall. The west wall stands to gable height, the other walls slightly lower. The original ground floor doorway on the west gable end. The ground floor is tunnel-vaulted and has a very narrow mural stair in the south-west corner which, as it is original, is a very rare feature. The present farmhouse is a standard 19th century two-storey, three-bay house with 20th century door and windows, all in original openings (Grundy 1987).

Bastle incorporated into the steading of Craig Farm. The bastle is 12m by 7.2m externally, and stands to within a metre of its original height. The ground floor is barrel-vaulted, the walls broken by a western doorway. Internal features indicate the presence and position of a loft, and access gained to the upper storeys through a mural stair. Some of the features of the bastle have been blocked in the act of incorporation to the farmstead (Hale 2007). (Northumberland HER)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

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 ReferenceNY937998
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  • Jessop, Lucy and Whitfield, Matthew, 2013, Alston Moor, Cumbria: Buildings in a North Pennines landscape (English Heritage) p. 31
  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 190
  • Salter, Mike, 1997, The Castles and Tower Houses of Northumberland (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 117 (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. 358
  • Graham, Frank, 1976, The Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Frank Graham) p. 123
  • Ramm, H.G., McDowall, R.W. and Mercer, E., 1970, Shielings and Bastles (London: HMSO) p. 88, no.46
  • Long, B., 1967, Castles of Northumberland (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) p. 88-9


  • Christopherson, R., 2011, 'Northumberland bastles: origin and distribution' Medieval Settlement Research Vol. 26 p. 21-33 (listed in appendix)
  • Hale, D., 2007, 'Archaeology on the Otterburn Training Area, 2002-2007' Archaeologia Aeliana (ser5) Vol. 36 p. 31-77 esp. 73-4
  • Abramson, P., 2005, 'Recent Archaeology in the Otterburn Training Area' Archaeology in Northumberland Vol. 15 p. 4 download from Northumberland CC
  • Ward, T., 1990 May, 'Bastle Houses of the Anglo-Scottish Borders' Fortress: The Castles and Fortifications Quarterly Issue 5 p. 35-43
  • Graham, A., 1945-6, 'Notes on Some Northumbrian 'Peles' Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Vol. 80 p. 37-43 (mention) online copy