Camp Cottage, Thorneyburn

Has been described as a Questionable Pele Tower, and also as a Questionable Bastle

There are masonry footings remains

NameCamp Cottage, Thorneyburn
Alternative NamesHerdlee
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishTarset

NY 75398613) An old Pele called 'Camp Cottage' (Tomlinson 1888).

Probably stood at NY 75438613 where a section of stone wall 3m high and 1.4m thick forms the east end of a building 11m by 6m which is reduced elsewhere to ground level.

The remains are probably those of a 'strong (or pele) house' (rather than a tower), which was later rebuilt, as indicated by the weaker foundations of the rest of the present building. (F1 RE 03-SEP-1970).

Ruined bastle on crest of slight east-west ridge. Building c.12.3m x (?)5.8m externally. East end of large blocks, some roughly squared, stands to 2m but partly obscured by fallen debris. Footings only of south wall (only 0.65m thick) and west end. Area around has been cleared and levelled. Site could easily be cleared of rubble and undergrowth (F2 PFR 21-JUN-1990; (Ryder 1990).

A 16th century ruined bastle, built of rubble. Just east of Camp Cottage, buried in nettles, are a few standing metres and much fallen masonry, from a bastle house (Grundy 1987). (Northumberland HER)

Gatehouse Comments

The PastScape summary reads "Remains of bastle or pele tower, surviving as a section of stone walling." but, although the remains are fragmentary, there seems little doubt this was a bastle and no evidence this was a gentry status tower house.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY754861
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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  • Dodds, John F., 1999, Bastions and Belligerents (Newcastle upon Tyne: Keepdate Publishing) p. 287-8
  • 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. 95-6
  • Ramm, H.G., McDowall, R.W. and Mercer, E., 1970, Shielings and Bastles (London: HMSO) p. 91 no. 61
  • Tomlinson, W.W. 1888, Comprehensive Guide to Northumberland (Newcastle) p. 224


  • 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. 38
  • Grundy, J., 1987, The Historic Buildings of the Northumberland National Park TAR4