Hill House 'Tower', Tarset

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

There are cropmark/slight earthwork remains

NameHill House 'Tower', Tarset
Alternative Names
Historic CountryNorthumberland
Modern AuthorityNorthumberland
1974 AuthorityNorthumberland
Civil ParishTarset

(NY 76188691) A pele formerly stood at Hill House (MacLauchlan 1867).

This tower has yet to be identified (Clarke)

Hill House is a farmhouse situated upon the top of a pasture-covered hill. It bears no traces of antiquity. The nearby stone dykes were examined but no stones were seen that could be associated with a Pele tower. The site is an ideal one, with a commanding view in all directions, particularly over the road valley of the River North Tyne to the south, and up the valley of the Thorney Burn to the north. This burn flows immediately to the east of the site in a deep narrow ravine, whose precipitous rocky sides provide a strong natural defence to the east and north.

50.0m to the NW of the farmhouse is a low grassy elevation, 12.0m by 10.0m in size, of a maximum height of 0.5m, and containing much loose stone. Though there are no indications of antiquity, the mound suggests a very probable position for a former Pele, being on the highest part of the hill-top, NY 76168692.

Mr Ions, of Low Thorneyburn, owner of Hill House, has no knowledge of a Pele formerly at the farmstead (F1 FDC 05-JUL-56). (PastScape)

Gatehouse Comments

Recorded by MacLauchlan in a list of local 'Pele Towers' given to him by an old resident - most of these 'towers' actually were bastles or pele-houses. The location is much more likely as a pele-house (i.e. a tenanted farmstead) than a pele tower (i.e. gentry status dwelling).

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceNY761869
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • MacLauchlan, H., 1867, Notes not included in the memoirs already published on Roman roads in Northumberland: taken during a survey made by direction of the Duke of Northumberland (London) p. 73 online copy


  • Clarke, H.F., 1905-1956, Essex Arch. Soc. (Author of The Towers and Fortified Houses of Northum 1905-1956. Private work. Not published.)